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Printed by Hbnninohak & HoLLis, Mount Street, Groflvenor Square. 





9[>)pdi (Sfii&oti, ttbiui, totudti vtxii etdargti^. 



Its Klanspnttnt wsiis ^et^nhtg tinr iT^t f »bU. 









//^, C . /^. 


This is the prelude to the fifth edition of the 
Dorking Fowl, and the third of that devoted to 
fowls in general. 

It is six years since in a former preface, I tendered 
my thanks to those, who, by continued support, had 
rendered repeated editions -necessary. The obli- 
gation is greater 'n4f^,'^and.L)ieartily acknowledge 

it. ""^i'Xv^ 

I have endeavoured to condense all I have learned 
from the experience of many years, and to describe 
it in a few words, and as plainly as possible. 



Preface ^ 

Poultry Honae ^ 

Methodof keeping Breeds separate . . . .11 

Food • • -13 

„ for Chickens - • -79 

Diseases 21 

Cochin China Fowl 28—108 

Hambro* „ 87—102 

Spangled „ 39-103 

Spanish „ 41—105 

Bantams „ 60—112 

Malay „ 64—114 

Game „ 55—110 

Poland „ 69—107 

Brahma Pootia ,,.... . 63—115 

Ptarmigan „ 70 

Friealand, or Frizzled 70 

Japanese Bantam, or &Xkj Fowl 71 

Bumpkin, eft Rumpless Fowl. ... . . .72 

The Emu, or Silky Cochin 72 

The Andalusian Fowl 73 

The Rangoon Fowl 73 

The Ancona Fowl . ... . .74 

Dorking - . . 101 

„ Fattening . . . . . .82 

Exhibition Fowls . . . . . . . .91 



Ik order to divide the subject of poultry into chapters, 
I will begin first with Poultry Houses. It is only of 
late years these have been much thought of: in large 
farm-yards where there are cart-houses, calf-pens, 
pig-styes, cattle-sheds, shelter under the eaves of 
bams, and numerous other roosting places, not omit- 
ing the trees in the immediate vicinity, I do not think 
they are required, for fowls will generally do better 
by choosing for themselves ; and it is beyond a doubt 
more healthy for them to be spread about in this 
manner, than to be confined to one place. But a love 
of order on the one hand, and a dread of thieves or 
foxes on the other, will sometimes make it desirable 
to have a proper poultry house. 

The exterior is a matter of taste, but internally the 
comfort and weU-doing of the poultry must be the 
only consideration ; and the higher the house is, the 
less likelihood there is of disease or taint. Another 
advantage of Having it lofty is, that the current 
through the building, being far above the fowls, puri- 


hnnga him in contact witfa *lxe ground. Often, 

tlie violence of his fell, small gravel stones are f 

through the skin of the balls o£ his feet. They f< 

and If that does not oeour, t;liey become so t 

that the bird dare no longer x>erch; he roosts o 

ground, and, for vrant of tfa^ necessary exercis- 

legs sweU at the knees, arxd he becomes a 8 

useless fowl. This wiU b^ avoided by havin| 

perches. Some weU-infori^^ci ^mborities deem 

perches of ^o consequence, i>ro^ded the fowls 

a plank, with cross pieces, r^^^^ing them fro, 

ground. But I believe it 
only used to ascend, the des<3 

Next, as to ventUation,it is 
should be well ventilated : it; 
an iron grating, of an ornarrfc 
site, or by tlie omission of I 
the ventilartors should be 
perches, and in severe 

closed. It is a great impro^e^^'^^' ^^^ ^ ' 
to the house. A very slight ^»* to have a a 

do, and it is not absoluteljr 
have five large openings in it 
one a few inclies from each cc 
should be above the ceiling- 
then ascend through the opex^i 
off by tlie draught, whicli 
as the foivls i?vill be protectoci 

l>e found theg 
is done by flig 
necessary the 
be done eitl 
character if 
3 inthebuildini 
siderably abov 
naay be en 

common one 

ssary. It si 

511 the centre 

The ventil 

vitiated air 

» and be ca 

l>e conside; 


B 2 


fies the air without interfering with their comfort. 
They do not like a draught, and if, while thej are 
perching, an opening is made admitting one, they 
will be seen to rouse up to alter their position, and at 
last to seek some other place to avoid it. 

The best guide in all these things is nature, and 
an observer will always find the poultry choose a 
sheltered spot. They also carefully avoid being 
exposed to cold winds. I would not, then, the 
poultry-house should have any opening to the north 
or east. My perches are only eighteen inches from 
the ground, and are made of fir-pdes sawed in half, 
measuring when whole, fourteen inches in circum- 
ference; I have none above the others, all are 
level, and my fowls do better than they did when 
higher up. 

My reason for being thus particular in my descrip« 
tion of the perch is that to mistakes in its construc- 
tion and position, many disorders in the feet of fowb 
may be attributed. 

For instance, it has been complained of that large 
fowls become lame, and what we term bumble-footed, 
more especially when carefully kept in poultry-houses. 
Now the reason for it is obvious, their perches are 
too high. In the morning the cock fiieS from the 
perch, twelve or fourteen feet ; the whole weight of 
his body, added to the impetus of his downward flight. 


brings him in contact with the ground. Often, from 
the violence of his £Edl, small gravel stones are forced 
through the skin of the balls of his feet. They fester, 
and if that does not occur, thej become so tender 
that the bird dare no longer perch; he roosts on the 
ground, and, for want of the necessary exercise, his 
legs swell at the knees, and he becomes a sleepy 
useless fowl. This will be avoided by having low 
perches. Some weU-informed authorities deem high 
perches of no consequence, provided the fowls have 
a plank, with cross pieces, reaching them from the 
ground. But I believe it will be found these are 
only used to ascend, the descent is done by flight. 

Next, as to ventilation, it is verynecessary the house 
should be well ventilated : it may be done either by 
an iron grating, of an ornamental character if requi- 
site, or by the omission of bricks in the building, but 
the ventilators should be considerably above the 
perches, and in severe weather, may be entirely 
closed. It is a great improvement to have a ceiling 
to the house. A veiy slight and common one will 
do, and it is not absolutely necessary. It should 
have five large openings in it, one in the centre, and 
one a few inches from each comer. The ventilators 
should be above the ceiling, the vitiated air will 
then ascend through the openings, and be carried 
off by the draught, which may be considerable 

as the fowls will be protected from it. 

B 2 


The house should be often cleaned out, and the 
walls lime-whited. The floor should be of earth 
well rammed down» and covered with loose grayeU 
two inches deep. This is easily kept clean hj 
drawing a broom lightly oyer it eyery morning; 
and if it is raked, it is kept even and fresh. 

There should be an opening towards the west or 
south-west, for the fowls to go in and out, and this 
should never be closed, as fowls are fond of rambling 
early in the morning, and picking up such food as is 
to be found at break of day. 

There should be no poultry allowed to roost in the 
house but fowls; no ducks, turkies or any other 
sort ; neither must t&ere be too many fowls, lest the 
house become tainted and the fowls sickly. This 
last remark applies equally to a farnx-yard. 

The poultry-house should have three compart- 
ments: one the largest, for roosting, another for 
laying, and another for sitting. In the two latter 
boxes should be placed round the house, but on the 
floor; aU that is required is to fasten two boards 
against the wall, each being twenty-eight inches 
high, the same length, and eighteen inches apart. 
This aflbrds the hen all the privacy she requires. 
About eighteen inches from the wall, a wooden bead 
should be put, just high enough to prevent eggs 
from rolling out. 


• Althougli I am here speaking of houses, yet on the 
question of a sitting house, it may not be out of place 
to mention, that as no hen should be allowed to lay 
where the others are sitting, and difficulty may be 
experienced with some from their almost unconquer- 
able repugnance to sit anywhere but where they have 
been laying, it may be done in this way : — move the 
hen and her eggs at night into the sitting house, and 
cover her till the morning, by hanging sacks, or old 
carpet, or matting over the boards forming her sit- 
ting place, and she will remain quiet and satisfied. 

Where space and economy have to be very closely 
considered, two houses may be made enough, by put- 
ling the laying boxes in the roosting house. They 
should occupiy one end of the building and be clear 
of the perches. The door of the sitting house should 
be always shut when hens are on their eggs, and it 
should therefore have a window to open in the 
summed, but to shut quite close in the winter. 
When the window is ^however open, a wire frame 
should supply its place, to prevent laying hens from 

There is one addition to a poultry yard so advan- 
tageous to chickens, that those who have once tried 
it, will never be .^thout it. I mean a covered run 
for them, to be used in wet weather. Any sort of 
roof will do, and it should be in a sheltered spot, 


running the length of the yard, and projecting ten 
or twelve feet or more from the wall or paling 
against which it is placed. It should he exposed to 
the sun, and sheltered from cold winds. The floor 
should he raised ahore the level of the yard, and 
covered with sand and wood ashes, some inches 
deep. The hens with chickens may he put here 
under their rips, in wet or unkind weather; and 
it affords at all times a favourite resort for poultry 
to hask, and take their dust hath, which is essential 
to their well-doing. 

There is nothing hotter for the hottom of a nest, 
than a turf cut with short heath, hroom, or grass 
upon it : this should he put at the hottom, and some 
straw at top. A nest so made is healthier for the 
hen and chickens, as it admitsof sufficient yentilationy 
and is always free from vermin. lam indebted to a 
lady for this suggestion, and I have found it most 
valuable. * 

If there be difficulty in causing the hens at first 
to take to the laying compartment, it is easy to close 
the roosting-house during the day, for a day or two, 
when they will take to the other, which may be 
similarly closed at night. But this must be only for 
a time. I think it essential both doors and windows 
of roosting places should be open during the day 
for purposes for ventilation. The floor should slant 


everj way towards the door, to facilitate the cleamng, 
and to avoid anything like wet. It should be well 
cleaned eyery day, and it should be raised above the 
level of the surrounding ground ; it should have no 
artificial floor, such as boards, bricks, tiles, or stones 
of any kind, but should be of good hard earth and 
loose gravel, not disposed to be muddy from the going 
in and out of its occupants in wet weather. It 
should open on grounds perfectly free for the poultiy 
to run in, and if a high dry spot on light soil can 
be chosen, 00 much the better ; the roof should be 
quite air and water tight. 

I deem it my duty to publish the result of much 
intercourse with breeders of poultry, and therefore 
here insert two methods, one followed by an amateur, 
and the other by a breeder, for preventing crooked 
breasts. Both have been successful. The amateur 
has made his perches larger and flatter, so that the 
fowls rest on the perch instead of clasping it. The 
breeder has raised some perches only eighteen inches 
firom the ground ; he has covered them with straw 
till they present a flat surface, on which the fowls 

A gentleman lately told me he had been very suc- 
cessful in raising early chickens in the north of 
Scotland, and he attributed much of it to the fol- 
lowing arrangements. He had always from twenty 


to thirty oxen or other cattle fattmg in a long build- 
ing, he made his poultry-house to join this, and had 
ventilators and openings made in the partition, so 
that the heat of the cattle-shed passed into the 

I am not fond of stoves, or hot water pipes iot 
poultry, nor have I ever found very good results from 
them; but by skilfully taking advantage of every 
circumstance like that above mentioned, and by con- 
sulting aspect and position, many valuable helps are 

I would also mention one thing I have noticed 
since I wrote the foregoing. I had some fowls in a 
large out-house, where they were well provided witii 
perches ; as there was plenty of room, I put some 
small faggots cut for firing at one extremity, and I 
found many of the fowls deserted their perches to 
roost on the fSeiggots, which they evidentiy preferred. 
I am also more tiian ever convinced tiiat ashes, and 
wood ashes before any others, are excellent things to 
put in poultry houses. Another valuable thing for 
fowls, and especially for laying hens, is to throw 
down near their haunts or houses a good basket-full 
of bricklayer's rubbish ; they all dust tiiemselves in 
it ; it destroys vermin, and the hens pick out tiie 
pieces of Hme and mortar which serve to form the 
shell of their eggs; attention to this will promote 


their health, and will prevent many from eating their 
eggs, as it is certain that at first, it is the shell that 
is wanted. 

By the kind permission of a Scottish gentleman,! 
am enabled to publish the following valuable extract 
from one of his letters : " I perceive some remarks 
of yours in reference to floors of poultry houses. In 
country places, the difficulty of keeping out rats 
would be an objection to a gravel floor, unless the 
ground were first dug out to the depth of twelve or 
fourteen inches, and filled with stones about the 
size of an egg, and smaller, and grouted with lime,— 
in fact, a concrete — and then, on that, gravel well 
beaten down. A mixture of cow-dung and water, 
about the consistency of paint, on the surface of the 
floor, put on no thicker than paint, gives it a hard 
sur&ce which will bear sweeping down. It is used 
by the natives of India, not only for the floors, but 
often for the walls of their houses, and is supposed 
to be healthy in its application, and to keep dovm 
vermin." The walls of every poultry house should 
be often lime-whited : it destroys vermin, it sweetens 
the house, and is both easy and inexpensive ; once 
a fortnight is often enough. 

I will conclude with one more remark : It is not 
necessary to build expensive houses. I kept for 
years a cock and four hens in a wooden house. It 

ia six feet higli in the centre, six feet square inside, 
and is tlina planned : — 

b TiDtiUtori. 
c BrackatB. 

Such a house vill cost, being made of elm, &om 
forty to fifty shillings, and will last many years. It 
is portable by passing a pole through the brackets 
c c oa each aide. It has no floor, being put on the 
ground. The boards will be found to split from 
exposure to the weather, bat that is not of the 
slightest consequence. Healthy fowls are not 
tender, and it may besides be pTevented by a coating 
of tar or paint. 

FOWLS. 11 


It is often desired to keep several sorts of fowls, to 
have each breed pure, and yet to have but one run 
for all. The only plan I can suggest to accomplish 
this is to have separate roosting houses, each with a 
small netted or wired space in front; let one be 
appropriated for each sort ; the hens of every des- 
cription may of course run in the open space all day, 
but at night they must be compelled to enter their 
respective places, — and, indeed, little compulsion is 
necessary, as they will soon take to them, and refuse 
to go into any other. For the weU-doing of the 
fowls, and to prevent crossing, the hens must be let 
out early in the morning, and the trap-door then 
securely closed till the evening, when they will want 
to roost. 

A separate place must be provided for them to lay 
in, and after the season is past for roaring chickens 
the fowls may all run together, if the cocks can agree 
sufficiently well, till six weeks before it is intended 
to set the eggs. But to ensure purity it is absolutely 
necessary the lords shpuld be separate quite six 
weeks before the eggs are set, and I am not sure 
that a longer time is not desirable. 

The rules of poultry houses are not without excep* 

13 FOWLS. 

tions, except in some particalarsi which I have else- 
where pointed out ; but as this is an unasoal plan, I 
may be asked to describe the sort of house and run 
I would advise for each cock and six hens, the only 
stipulation I would make is, that if the dimensions 
are altered, it shall be in the way of increase. 

I would have the house ten or twelve feet in height^ 
six in length, and three or four in depth ; the door 
at one extremity, not more than twenty-one inches 
wide, and opening into the little enclosed space, 
which must face the south or south-west; inside 
should be two perches running across the building, 
two feet from the ground. 

The space in front must not be less than eight feet 
square, but the larger it is the better ; it must be 
securely covered at top and all round ; there must 
be a slide to lift up in front, for the hens to go out, 
and this must be fastened down, as the escape of 
one of the cocks, even for an hour ov two, would 
spoil a season, and do injuiy it would take a year to 

This, at first sight, may appear a very troublesome 
proceeding, but it is not so in fact. It must be borne 
in mind it is an expedient to enable the possessor of 
one meadow, to indulge his fancy to the same extent 
as he does who is fortunate enough to possess as 
many farms as sorts of fowls. This plan has one 

FOWLS. 18 

advantage over that of scattering the birds about, 
viz. — ^thej are always at hand, and to be seen if 

Where only two or three sorts are kept, this plan 
may be varied by dividing the day, and allowing 
each sort to run at large during one portion of it. 
In this case, be careful to shut one set up, before 
the other is let out. The slides should be locked or 
fastened so that children cannot let the cocks out. 


It is difficult to assign any portion of food as a suf- 
ficient quantity for a given number of fowls, because 
80 much depends on the nature of their run, and the 
quantity and quality of food to be found. For in- 
stance, in a farm yard where the bam door is always 
open, and thrashi^ continuany going on. «iult b Jb 
require little or no feeding, but if this supply be 
stopped, then they must be fed by hand ; again, if 
they have free access to stubbles, they will get a good 
portion of their food there. I had some fowls a few 
years since turned out in some stubbles I rented fox 

14 FOWLS. 

the purpose — tiiej roosted in the hedge-rows, and 
were only fed a little night and morning for the sake 
of getting them together to count them. I never had 
any do so well, but this will only last till the begin- 
ning of November ; by that time they have picked 
the stubble clean, and indeed irom the middle of 
October the quantity of food given had to be increased 
daily. A good healthy growing fowl will consume 
weekly two-thirds of a gallon of com, wheat or bar- 
ley. I prefer the former, and if the bird come from 
a walk where it has been badly kept it wiU for a 
time eat more than this ; but after it has got up in 
flesh and condition, it gradually eats less, and two- 
thirds, or even half the quantity, will keep it in good 
condition. Again, the weather must be consulted ; 
in mild damp weather they prowl about and pick up 
many things, as insects, worms, young herbage — 
these all assist ; but in frost, and above all in snow, 
they require generous feeding. To use a very homely 
poultry wife's expression, there is then " no scratch" 
for them. 

Do not spare good food for chickens, they require 
plenty while they are growing, and they will make a 
good return in health and vigour when arrived at 
maturity. If it be possible, let them eat their green 
food, as lettuce, &c., in a growing state ; it is not 
only more nourishing, but they eat it with greater 

FOWLS. 16 

pleasure, because it resists the puUneoessaiyto tear 
it, and it is more natural. I would recommend 
those who are obliged to keep fowls in confinementi 
to have large sods or turfs of grass cut, and to let 
the earth be heavy enough to enable them to tear off 
the grass, without being obl^^ed to drag the sod about 
with them. I have found a gardeu duxigheap over* 
grovm with artichokes, mallows, &c., an ezoellent 
ooYort for chickens, especiallj in hot weather. They 
find shelter, and meet with many insects there. 

Where there is a family, and consequent consump- 
tion, Hiere are many auxiliaries, such as bread from 
toast and water, groats that have been used for gruel, 
soup, and stook meat But it must be borne in 
mind these are in the place of other food, and not in 
addition to it. When Uus can be had other food 
should be diminished* I am not an advocate for 
cooked vegetables, except potatoes ; boiled cabbage I 
hold to be worse than nothing^->in fact it must be 
borne in mind, com, either whole, ground, or crushed, 
is the staple food, and the others are helpi> I do 
not give my fowls meat, but I always have the 
bones thrown out to them afker dinner ; they ei^oy 
picking them, and perform the operation perfectly* 
I am aware I differ in one point from many expe- 
rienced breeders of the present day, and it is, that I 
object to raw meat as food* I have always found it 

16 FOWLS. 

make fowls quarrelsome, and give them a propensity 
to pick each other, especiallj in moulting time, if 
the accustomed meat he withheld. I sludl be home 
out in this hy hundreds who have purchased birds, 
above all, Cochin Chinas, at enormous prices, on 
account of their great weight, which, being the result 
of meat feeding, has proved a real disease, inca- 
pacitating them from breeding. When proper food 
is provided, all is not accomplished; it must be 
properly given. No plan is so extravagant or so 
injurious as to throw down heaps once or twice per 
day. They should have it scattered as far and wide 
as possible, that the birds may belong and healthily 
employed in finding it, and may not accomplish in a 
few minutes that which should occupy them for 
hours. For this reason I disapprove of every sort 
of feeder or hopper. It is the nature of fowls to 
take a grain at a time, and to pick grass and dirt 
with it, which assists digestion ; but if, contrary to 
this, they are enabled to eat com by mouthsful, their 
crops ^e soon overfilled, and they seek relief in 
excessive draughts of water. Nothing is more 
iigurious than this, and the inactivity that attends 
the discomfort caused by it, lays the foundation of 
many disorders. While I am speaking of food, I 
would observe, that when firom travelling or other 
cause a fowl has fasted a long time — ^say thirty or 

FOWLS. 17 

forty-eight hours — it should not be allowed any hard 
food, neither should it have water at discretion ; for 
the first three hours it should have only a small 
portion, say a teacupful of sopped bread very wet, so 
much so as to serve for food and drink, afterwards 
some plain bread and water, and then with a crop 
full be turned out If the bird appear to suiFer much 
from the journey, instead of bread and water, give 
bread and beer. 

But the food given to them by hand is not all that 
is essential. There is the natural food, sought out 
and divided by the hen to her progeny, such as 
insects of all kinds, peculiar herbage, &c. And it is 
here well to remark, that where fowls are bred for 
exhibition, or other special purposes, as cocks for 
fighting, a hen should not be allowed to rear more 
than six chickens, as she cannot find this food for a 
greater number, and if they are intended to be 
superior to all others, they must have greater, vr at 
least equal advantages, with those they will have to 
compete against. For economy it will be found that 
ground food is far more profitable than whole com ; 
and the most beneficial in every way, both for well- 
doing of the birds, and economy of outlay, is ground 
oats. The whole com should be finely ground, 
without taking away any part in the shape of bran. 
This should be slaked with water, and thrown on 

18 FOWLS. 

the ground so long as the birds will run after it ; 
but when they cease to do so it should be disoon- 
tinued. If two fowls will not run after one piece 
they do not want it. They should be fed in this 
way morning and afternoon, or evening, and if their 
run affords no food they should haye a little com 
scattered among the grass on their haunts. In most 
poultry yards more than half the food is wasted. 
The same quantity is thrown down day after day, 
without reference to time of year, alteration of num- 
bers, or variation of appetite, and that which is not 
eaten is trodden about, or taken by small birds. 
Many a poultry yard is coated with com and meal. 
As it is essential fowls should have fresh mixed 
food, a careful poultry feeder will always prefer 
having to mix twice to having any left, and it is 
often beneficial for the birds to have a scanty meal, 
^hey can find numerous things wherewith to eke 
out, and things that are beneficial to them ; but if 
they are kept constantly full they will not seek them. 
The advantage of scattering the food is, that all then 
get their share ; while if it is thrown only on a 
small space the master birds get the greater part, 
while the others wait around. Indian com has been 
much used of late ; the result of all my experiments 
has been, that it is useful for a change, but it is not 
a good food by itself. Fowls are very fond of it, and 

FOWLS. 19 

once or twice per week it may be advantageously 
given. The best argument for its use is that the 
small birds cannot eat it. Many have been discou- 
raged, and some deterred from keeping fowls by the 
expense of feeding. If they will themselves attend to 
the consumption for a week, and follow the method 
I have pointed out, they may arrive at a fair 
average, and they will be surprised to find how 
much greater the cost has been than was necessary. 
It is most essential not to invent or to supply ima-^ 
gmary wants in fowls— they do not require coaxing 
to eat, and wherever food can be seen lying on the 
ground in a yard there is waste and mismanagement. 
I have seen food enough for three days brought out 
for one meal, and vras thought hard-hearted when I 
stopped it. But the poultry woman was sensible, 
and after a week she acknowledged her birds were 
better, although their food was reduced two-thirds. 
The economy is not in food alone, they are large 
gainers in health, and the pleasure of keeping is 
much increased. The tendency of over-feeding is to 
make them squat about under sheds and cart-houses, 
and instead of spreading over a meadow or stubble 
in little active parties, searching hedges and banks, 
and basking on their sides in the dust, with opened 
feathers, and one wing raised to get all the glorious 
sun's heat that they can, they stand about a listless 


20 FOWLS. 

pampered troop. To lay much better, to breed 
better chickens, and to last longer, are ihe results 
of diminished, not increased expense, and all that 
is required is a little personal superintendence at 
first, till the new system is understood and ap< 
preciated. I will now leave the subject, merely 
repeating that in most yards the birds ai^ overfed, 
and that there is waste in nearly all. 

It is common for those who undertake to be poultry 
correspondents, to be asked, what is tiie food to 
make fowls lay ? High feeding of any sort wiU do 
it, but more particularly hempseed, and tallow- 
chandler's greaves. The former is given whole, the 
latter should be chopped fine, and then put in & 
bucket and covered with boiling water. The mouth 
of the bucket should be covered with a double sack, 
or other cloth, so completely as to exclude air and 
confine the steam till the greaves are thoroughly 
softened. When they are neaxly cold they may be 
given. These will make them luy, but it is only for 
a time; premature decrepitude comes on, and disease 
in many forms appears. 

The most common is dropsy, and of an ineurable 
character. The fowl that would have laid for years, 
in the common course of nature, being forced to 
produce in two that which should have been the 
work of several, loses all beauty and usefulness, and 

FOWLS. 21 

yet it is often oonsidered matter of wonder that the 
most prolific hen in the yard should suddenly be- 
come barren. The food for small chickens will be 
found in the second chapter of the Dorking Fowl, 
printed at the end of this book. 


Ahono the diseases of fowls, nothing is so fatal to 
the bird, or so vexatious to the fancier, as roup. 

Very close observation and extensive experience, 
have taught me the first premonitory symptom is a 
peculiar breathing. The fowl appears in perfect 
health for the time, but it will be seen that the skin 
hanging from the lower beak, and to which the 
watde is attached, is inflated and emptied at every 
breath ; — I have noticed it for years, but have been 
diffident of making it public till I was sure. I have 
now gained evidence that convinces me I aoi justi- 
fied in publishing it Such a bird should always 
be removed. 

The disease may be caused, first, by cold damp 
weather and easterly winds, when fowls of weakly 

22 FOWLS. 

habit and bad constitutions will sicken of it, but 
healthy, strong birds will not. Again, if by any 
accidental cause they are long without food and 
water, and then have an unlimited quantity of drink 
and whole corn given to them, they gorge themselves, 
and ill-health is the consequence ; but confinement 
is the chief cause, and above all being shut up in 
tainted coops. Nothing is so hard as to keep a fowl 
healthy in confinement in London ; two days will 
often suffice to change the bright bold cock into the 
spiritless, drooping, roupy fowl, carrying contagion 
wherever he goes. . 

But all the roup does not come from London ; 
often in the spring of the year the cocks fight, and 
it is necessary to take one away ; search is made for 
something to put him in, and a rabbit-hutch, or open 
basket is found, wherein he is confined, and often 
irregularly supplied with food, till pity for his altered 
condition causes him to be let out; — ^but he has 
become roupy, and the whole yard sufiPers. I dwell 
at length on this, because it is of all disorders the 
worst, and because, although a cure may seem to be 
effected, yet at moulting, or any time when out of 
condition, the fowl will be more or less affected with 
it again. 

One thing is here deserving notice. The result 
of the attention paid to poultry of late years has been 

FOWLS. 28 

to improve the health and constitutions of the hirds. 
Boup is not nearly so common as it was, nor is it so 
difficult of cure. It went on unnoticed formerly, till 
it had become chronic, and it would not be difficult 
to name yards that have now a good reputation, but 
which a few years since never had a healthy fowl. 
It is now treated at the outset, if seen, but the im- 
proved management in most places renders it a rare 
occurrence. The cold which precedes it may often 
be cured by feeding twice a day with stale crusts of 
bread soaked in strong beer. 

The suspected fowl should be removed directly, 
and if you have plenty without it, and if it be not of 
any breed that makes its preservation a matter of 
moment, kill it. 

There is little doubt of a cure if it be taken in the 
first stage, but if the eyelids be swollen, the nostrils 
closed, the breathing difficult, and the discharge foetid 
and continual, it will be a long time before the bird 
is well. In this stage it may be termed the con- 
sumption of fowls, and with them as in human beings 
there are some cases beyond cure. However I may 
differ from some eminent and talented amateurs, I 
do not hesitate to say it is contagious in a high de- 
gree. Where fowk are wasting without any appa- 
rent disorder, a tea-spoonful of cod liver oil per day 
will often be found an efficacious remedv. 



at ^^ Jiext mention a disease common to chickens 

^ ^^ ^arly age, I mean the gapes ; these axe caused 

^^merous small worms in the throat ; the best 

^ ^^od I know of getting rid of them, is to take a 

^ leather, strip it to within an inch (rf the &ad, put 

^^^^^ the chicken's throat, twist it sharply round 

^^eral times, and draw it quickly out, the worms 

. ^ be found entangled in the feathers. When this 

^ ^ot effectual in removing them, if the tip of the 

^^^thor be dipped in turpentine, it will kill them, but 

^Ust be put down the toindpipe, not the^K^- I 

^^e always thought these are got from impure water, 

^^ 1 have been informed by a gentleman who 

^<lnires closely into these things, that having placed 

^^3ae of the worms taken from the throat of a 

**^ckeii, and some from the bottom of a water butt 

^ere rain water had remained for a long time, in a 

'^^^croscope he found them identical. I have never 

^^^t with gapes where fowls had a running stream 

^^ ^o to for water. 

There is also another description of gapes, arising 
^^^'obably, from internal fever; I have found meal 
^ixed with milk and salts, a good remedy. They 
^^ sometimes caused by a hard substance at the tip 
^f the tongue ; in this case, remove it sharply with 
*lie thumb nail, and let it bleed freely. A gentieman 
^entioned this to me, who had met with it in an old 
-French writer on poultiy. 

FOWLS. 35 

Sometim68 a fowl will droop almost suddenly, after- 
being in perfect health ; if jou catch it directly, you 
will often find it has eaten something that has 
hardened in the crop ; pour plenty of warm water 
down the throat, and loosen the food till it is soft, 
then give a table spoonful of castor oil or about as 
much jalap as will lay on a shilling, mixed in butter, 
make a pU of it and slide it into the crop; the 
fowl will be well in the morning. Cayenne pepper 
or chalk, or both mixed with meal, are the best 
remedies for scouring. 

When fowls are restless, dissatisfied, and con- 
tinually scratching, it is often caused by lice ; these 
can be got rid of by supplying their houses or haunts 
with plenty of ashes, especially wood ashes, in which 
they may dust themselves, and the bath is rendered 
more effectual by adding some black sulphur to the 

Sometimes fowls appear cramped, they have difil- 

culty in standing upright, and rest on their knees ; in 

lajrge young birds, especially cocks, this is merely 

^tlme effect of weakness from fast growth, and the 

di^ffioolty their long weak legs have in carrying their 

\>o<lies. But if it lasts after they are getting age, 

then it must he seen to ; if their roosting place has a 

stone or brick door, there is the cause ; but if this is 

not the case, stimulating food, such as I have de- 

26 FOWLS. 

scribed for other diseases, must be given. Fowls 
like human beings are subject to atmospherical 
influence, and if healthy fowls seem suddenly at- 
tacked with illness that cannot be explained, a 
copious meal of bread steeped in ale, will often, 
prove a speedy and effectual remedy. For adults, 
nothing will • restore strength sooner than eggs 
boiled hard, and chopped fine. If these remedies 
are not successful, then the constitution is at fault, 
and good healthy cocks must be sought to replace 
those whose progeny is faulty. 

Jalap and Eue are both good poultry medicines, 
but if the ground is not over-stocked, if they are 
well fed and have clean and fresh water, there will 
be no disease. Nothing is so bad as impure water, 
it is a slow poison. If they are obliged to drink 
from ponds and ditches infected by being receptacles 
for all the sewage of a house, and for all the drainings 
of stables, cow-houses, and pig-sties, or rendered 
filthy from the decayed vegetable matter, as leaves 
from overhanging trees and shrubs — it is impossible 
imder such circumstances they can do well. 

Prevention is better than cure — and the cause of 
many diseases is to be found in enfeebled and bad 
constitutions; and these are the consequences of 
breeding-in. Objection is taken to the use of the 
word " cross," and I believe, justly so ; I will there- 

FOWLS. 27 

fore say, the introduction of fresh blood is absolutely 
necessary every second year, and even every year is 
better. Many fanciers who breed for feather, fear to 
do so lest false colours should appear, but they should 
recollect one of the first symptoms of degeneracy is 
a foul feather; for instance, the Sebright bantam 
loses lacing, and becomes patched, the Spanish fowls 
throw white feathers, and pigeons practise number- 
less freaks. An experiment was once tried which 
will illustrate this. A pair of black pigeons was 
put in a large loft, and allowed to breed without any 
introduction of fresh blood. They were well and 
carefully fed. At the end of two years an account 
of them was taken. They had greatly multiplied, 
but only one-third of the number were black, and the 
others had become spotted with white, then patched, 
and then quite white, while these latter had not only 
lost the characteristics of the breed from which they 
descended, but they were weak and deformed in 
every possible way. The introduction of fresh blood 
prevents all this ; and the breeder for prizes, or who 
wishes to have the best of the sort he keeps, should 
never let a fowl escape him if it possesses the qua- 
lities he seeks. Such are not always to be had 
when wanted, and the best strains we have of every 
sort, have been got up by this plan. 

as FOWLS. 


CooHiN China Fowls will always form in them- 
selves a history of poultry. The first were possessed 
by Her Majesty. This gave them great importance. 
Then properties were attributed to them, such as 
never fell to the lot of any fowls. They were scarce* 
and this made people anxious to possess some. 
There is never a want that cannot be supplied, and 
Cochin China Fowls, or birds dignified with that 
name, were imported or manufactured. They were 
sold for large sums, and as buyers were assured th^ 
were pore, and paid heavily for their specimens, 
they spread the delusion, although the fifth claw 
of the Dorking, and the head and comb of the Malay, 
GontLnoally gave evidence of foreign elements in 
their composition. But while late years have abun- 
dantly proved the interest in poultry which first 
"begSiJ^ to be taken some time since, to be a sound and 
enduring one, yet we cannot help agreeing with 
ipimj who contend that it was no mis-nomer to call 
the early Cochin China fancy by its familiar name, 
the Cochin mama. The prices made were ridiculous, 
a hundred good Cochins would purchase a small 
farm, an<l «• ^^^ an<i two hens from favourite strains, 
were thought cheap if bought for less than fifty 

FOWLS. d9 

pounds. Had these birds been shy breeders — if 
like song birds the produce of a pair were four or at 
most five birds in the year, prices might have been 
maintained, but as they are marvellous layers, they 
increased. A book' might be written on the schemes 
and counter-schemes employed by those who kept 
the fowls, and those who lived in the neighbourhood ; 
the first to destroy all vitality in the egg before it 
was sold, the other to discover some expedient by 
which it could be saved or restored. Both failed at 
times, while they succeeded now and then. We 
know one large breeder of these birds who sent his 
eggs to market without comment, and many an 
omelette or batter pudding was made with eggs 
bought twenty for a shilling, the fellows to which 
brought from four to five shillings each soon after, 
and the produce of which, if hatched, would have 
realized pounds at a few months old. This gen- 
tleman had the fowls years before he knew their 
value, and the best birds we ever had were hatched 
from eggs bought for eating. They bred in large 
numbers, and consequently became cheaper, and 
tlien the mania ended, because those who dealt 
most largely in them did so, not from a love of the 
birds or the pursuit, but as a speculation. As they 
had over-praised them before, they now treated them 
witli contempt. Anything like a moderate profit 

80 FOWLS. 

was despised, and the birds were left to their own 
merits. These were sufficient to ensure their popu- 
larity, and now after fluctuating in value more than 
anything except shares, after being over-praised, and 
then abused, they have remained favourites vrith a 
large portion of the pubUc, sell at a remunerating 
price and form one of the largest classes at all the 
great exhibitions. We will now proceed to describe 

The Cochin-china cock is a bold, upright bird, 

with erect, indented single comb rising from the 

beak over the nostril, projecting over the neck, and 

then slanting away underneath to allow the root to 

he fixed on the top of the head. The beak is strong 

and curved, the eye bold, the face red, the w^tde 

pendant, and the ear-lobe very long, hanging much 

iower than in other fowls. He is a bu-d of noble 

carriage, and differs from most other fowls in the 

^oilowingr points : He has little tail, indeed in very 

^© specimens it may be said, they have none; they 

^® the liackle large and long, it falls from the 

^eok to the back, and from its termination there is a 

small gradual rise to where the tail should be, but 

jrhere its apology, some glossy, slightly-twisted 

eathers fall over like those of an ostrich. The last 

J^t of the wing folds up, so that the ends of the 

ght feathe2-s are concealed by the middle ones, and 

FOWLS. 31 

their extremities again are covered by the copious 
saddle. The next peculiarities of these birds, are, 
what is technically called, "the fluflf" and "the 
crow." The former is composed of beautifully soft, 
long feathers, covering the thighs till they project 
considerably, and garnishing all the hinder parts of 
the bird in the same manner ; so much so, that to 
view the widest part of the Cochin-china cock you 
must look at him behind. His crow is to the crow 
of other cocks, what the railway whistle is to that of 
the errand boy in the streets, it is loud, hoarse, and 
amazingly prolonged. They seem to delight in it, 
and will continue it till they are on tip-toe, and are 
compelled to exchange their usual erect position for 
one in which the neck is curved and the head 
brought down to the level of the knees. Viewing 
the broadside it will be seen, there is in this bird 
a deficiency of breast, it slants off in a straight line 
from the end of the neck to the beginning of the 
fluff that covers the upper part of the thigh. 

The pullet has most points in common with the 
cock. Her head is beautiful, the comb small, very 
upright, with many indentations, the face, if I may 
use the term, intelligent. Her body is much deeper 
in proportion than that of the cock ; her fluff is 
softer, having almost a silky texture ; her carriage is 
less erect. She has none of the falling feathers at 

83 FOWLS. 

the tail, but the little she has, is upright, and should 
come to a blunt point, nothing like the regular 
rounded tails of other hens. In both, the legs should 
be yellow, and well feathered to the toes. Very 
particular fanciers require that the outer toe of the 
feet should be much shorter than the others, and 
that the web between the toes should be larger than 
in other fowls. Flesh-coloured legs are admissible, 
but green, black, or white, are defects. No other 
bird shows its shape in feathers so plainly as this 
does, and with an old-fashioned Chinese puzzle, com- 
posed of a number of small triangular pieces of 
wood, it would be easy to give a good notion of a 
Cochin-china hen. 

In buying them, avoid long tails, clean legs, fifth 
toes, and double combs. Above all take care the 
cock has not, nor ever has had, sickle feathers. 

I have endeavoured to describe the best birds of 
their species; such may be always obtained, and 
afterwards bred, but they will be the pickings of the 

The colours are BuflF, Lemon, Cinnamon, Grouse, 
Partridge, White, and Black. The two last are of 
more recent introduction than the others. The 
white were principally bred from one pair imported 
and given to the Dean of Worcester. They after- 
wards became the property of Mrs. Herbert, of 

FOWLS. 33 

Powick, whose name will always be identified with 
them. It is imperative these fowls should have 
yellow legs. The origin of the black is still shrouded 
in mystery. It is said they were first produced by 
the cross between the buff and white. Be that as 
it may, there is one peculiarity about them, that the 
cocks though perfectly pure in colour till about six 
months old, after that age become brown in the 
hackle, frequently throw red feathers in the wings, 
and are often found on close examination to have 
white under feathers, and others barred with white. 
A description of a fowl is now hardly complete 
without a few instructions for classing for exhibi- 
tion. Both grouse and partridge hens require a 
black-breasted red cock. There should be no mix- 
ture of colour whatever, the hackle and saddle should 
be red or gold, and every feather striped down its 
centre with black. Buff and cinnamon birds are 
always classed together, but very meritorious fowls 
often lose the distinction they otherwise deserve, by 
both colours being in the same pen. The set of 
competing birds must all be either cinnamon or buff, 
and especial care should be taken to avoid the com- 
mon error of putting a bnff cock with cinnamon hens. 
There are two shades of cinnamon birds. The first 
are the silver cinnamon. The hens have a body 
plumage of pinky or French white, with a yellow, 


84 FOWLS. 

or a light brown hackle. The cocks should be of 
light plumage, almost white under feather, with 
yellow hackle and saddle, and yellow feathers inter- 
mixed with the light all over the body. The other 
cinnamon pullets or hens have bodies of a light cin- 
namon colour, with darker hackles spotted with 
black. These require cocks with plumage exactly 
the colour of wetted cinnamon. Both these are now 
become rare, and the latter are almost lost. They 
were common formerly in Dorsetshire, and were 
birds of marvellous weight. The cock for the buff 
and lemon, should be the colour of the hens, but 
possessing the brilliant colouring of hackle and 
saddle peculiar to their sex. Black feathers must 
be carefully avoided. They are admissible in the 
tail, but one of a richly shaded chesnut is very 

They are very good layers, and I have proved 
they sometimes lay twice in a day. I have known 
two instances of it, but I think the explanation I can 
give wiU bear out the opinion, it is not in the nature 
of any hen to do so as a rule. The fowl in question 
more than once laid early, and again (in the summer) 
just before dark, one probably at four in the morning, 
and another at eight in the evening, thus two eggs 
in sixteen hours, but she never laid the following 
day : several times she did this, but very often'the 

FOWLS. 35 

second egg had an imperfect shell, yielding to the 
slightest pressure. They seem to lay at a certain 
age, without any regard to weather or time of year, 
beginning soon after they are five months old; I 
have had pullets of that age laying regularly in very 
cold, frosty weather, when those of other breeds 
running with them, showed no signs of following 
their example, although hatched at the same time. 

They do not lose their qualities as they get older, 
but they lose their beauty sooner than any other, and 
every year seems to increase the difficulty of moulting. 
I am convinced, the age of beauty in a Cochin-china 
fowl is from nine to eighteen months ; after this the 
hens become coarse, their feathers grow with diffi- 
culty, their fluff is a long time coming, and the 
beautiful intelligent head is exchanged for an old 
care-worn expression of face. I am also sure that 
the tail of the cocks increases as they get older. 

The commonest fault in these fowls at exhibitions, 
in the present day^ is that both cocks and hens are 
shown with twisted combs. This should be avoided 
in selecting breeding stock, as although the breeder 
may not care to exhibit, purchasers may, and the 
value of the stock is affected by it. 

I have always found them hardy birds ; the little 
naked, ostrich-like chickens doing well in bleak 
spots, without any unusual eare. 

D 2 

36 FOWLS. 

I imported some black birds, and even the cocks 
remained true to color. 

Too much cannot be said in favour of their gentle- 
ness and contented disposition; a fence four feet 
high suffices to keep them from wandering, and they 
allow themselves to be taken from their perch, and 
replaced, to be handled, exhibited, or made any use 
of, without the least opposition. They are also 
most valuable in a yard as layers during the winter 
months, and sitters early in the year. They are 
broody when others are beginning to lay. 


The real Hambro' Fowl is a beautiful bird. There 
are two sorts, the golden and the silver ; they differ 
in one respect only, the foundation colour of one is 
white, the other yellow ; one dfescription wfll serve 
for both. They have bright red double combs, 
which should be firmly fixed on the head, inclining 
to neither side, nor even being loose, ending in a 
point which should turn upwards; clear hackles, 
either white or yellow ; taper blue legs, and ample 
tails; bodies and taUs accttrately pencilled with 

FOWLS. 37 

black eyery where except th^ neck. The more 
correct the marking, the more valuable the bird. 

Their carriage is gay and proud ; their shape is 
symmetry, and their appearance is altogether in- 
dicatiye of great cheerfulness, and carries an air 
of eiyoyment, which always prepossesses in their 

The plumage of the cocks differs somewhat from 
the hens; they are very little speckled, if at all, 
except while chickens, when the wings and hinder 
parts are marked, but this seldom lasts after the first 
•moult. In the silver variety, the cock is almost 
white, having sometimes a chesnut patch on the 
wing, and towards the tail some black spots, but 
these disappear as he gets older. The tail should 
be black, and the sickle feathers tinged with a 
reddish white, while in the golden cock they should 
be shaded with a rich bronze or copper. The cock 
of the golden is red all over, and both must have 
well defined white deaf-ears. 

No fowls require mor^ watching than these if it 
be desired to breed them for exhibition. Degeneracy 
shows itself in the cocks either by a black tail, or one 
in which white or silver predominates, or by the 
absence of the white deaf-ear : — all these must be 
fatal to success. In the hens it is apparent in 
upotted hackles, and in patchy plumage. The 

88 * FOWLS, 

delicate and distinct.pencilling is lost, and a cloudj 
uneven mixture takes its place. This is fatal to 
them as exhibition birds. 

The great virtue and merit of these fowls sre, 
they are prodigious layers, and this is not brought 
about by any undue feeding, it is tilieir nature. 
They are said never to sit, and as a rule it is true 
of them ; not one in a thousand deviates from it» 
but when I lived in Davies Street, I had one at 
liberty; she stole a nest in a lumber room, and 
brought out a brood of chickens. 

They are excellent guards in the country, for- 
when disturbed in their roosting place, they are the 
noisiest of the noisy, and nothing but death or 
liberty wiU induce them to hold their peace. I 
think I may say with truth, they lay twice as many 
eggs as any others. 

In these, as in other breeds, erroneous ideas and 
names have crept in, some being correct descriptions 
of the same fowl under another name, but others 
being imaginative, so far as real Hambro' fowls are 

The Bolton bays and greys, and Chitteprats are 
identical with the Hambro*. I have also seen so- 
called Turkish and Creoles, which were the same. 

As a general rule, it may be observed, no true bred 
Hambro' fowl has topknot, single comb, white legs> 

FOWLS. 39 

any approach to feather on the legs, white tail, or 
spotted hackle. 

I know no bird that gains so much by change of 
climate as ibia does ; the British bred are infinitely 
better than the imported. 

There is another Hambro* now at least admitted 
into that family. They were originally called Pheasant 
fowls, as that bird was accused of being the parent 
on one side with about as much truth as the other 
story, that the Barnacle that adheres to the bottom 
of a ship, produces the goose that bears the same 
name. They were also called Moss fowls, then 
Moonies. This last name would seem to have some 
foundation, because the end of every feather should 
haye a moon figured in black, on the yellow or white 
ground, according as they are gold or silver. They 
are very beautiful, gay and proud in carriage ; very 
full double and firmly fixed combs, with point at the 
end turning upwards ; dark rim round the eye, blue 
legs, mixed hackle. 

Like the Pencilled varieties, these are of two 
sorts, the golden and the silver. There are few 
breeds in which points are so scrupulously observed, 
and defects so insisted upon as in this. The 
Capulets and Montagues are Yorkshire and Lanca- 
shire. The former insist on black breasted cocks, 
the latter must have spangled. We hold with the 

40 FOWLS. 

latter. There was formerljha contest about the tails 
of the cocks. Some contended they should be hen- 
tailed, t. e., have no sickles, streamers, coverts or 
turned feathers. This notion has however dis- 
appeared ; and we may venture to give the principal 
points of these breeds, as admitted by most amateurs 
and exhibitors. 

In golden cooks, the hackle should be elouded 
without any patches or rings of black, the 
saddle should be clouded or intermixed with black, 
the wing accurately barred and laced, the tail black, 
the breast well spangled. The comb full, tlnokly 
spiked, and well piked, turning upwards behind. 
The deaf*ear small, round and perfectly white. 
The foundation colour of the body a rich dark red. 
The same rules save as to size of comb, apply to the 

In silver the cocks have not the same clouding in 
the hackle or saddle, but they require the same 
comb, deaf-ear, laced and barred wing. They must 
also have a white tail, every feather of which must 
be tipped with black. The pullets are subject to the 
same laws of combs, ears, wings, and tails. They 
must also have clouded hackles, and their bodies 
must be accurately spangled. In each variety the 
legs must be blue. 

FOWLS. 41 


The Spanish Fowl is easy to describe, as no yariety 
of colour is admissible. These birds must be black 
throughout, richly shaded with metallic green lustre. 
A purely white face is imperatiYely necessary to con- 
stitute a perfect specimen. Care must be taken not 
to mistake the ear-lobe for the face, as in the very 
worst samples of the bird this will be found quite 
white. In a Erst class bird this colour must be un- 
mixed with red spots, and ext^iid from the insertion 
of the comb to the gill, and from the ear*lobe to the 
beak. The ear4obe must be large, pendant, thick, 
and quite free from any other colour. This part of 
the face is more developed in the cook than the hen ; 
in fact, he has it much larger than any other fowl : 
it is composed of a double skin, forming a sort of 
hag. Very capital cocks are also white betwe^i the 
wattles, but here the colour is in spots on a red 
ground, slightly shaded with a blue white. The male 
bird should have a lai^ upright comb, reaching to 
the nostril. His watdes should be very large and 
long; his breast round and protuberant; his tail 
•ample ; his carriage noble and veiy upright. The 
combs of the hens should fall over, and when in good 
condition be large enough to hide one side of the face. 

4/2 FOWLS. 

Their breasts are prominent, but not so much so as 
in the cocks. Their faces very long, thin, and skinny. 
I next come to the points both sexes have in common. 
Taper blue legs, and deviating ^m the required line 
of perfection in most other fowls, they should be 
long. In shape they slant downwards from the 
neck to the tail, and the body narrows from the 
shoulders, tiU at the end it approaches a point In 
walking they carry themselves very upright. 

They are invaluable layers, because, although 
they are only moderate feeders, their eggs are 
larger than those of any other fowl. We have seen 
them four-and-a-half ounces each. The difference 
between these eggs and those of any other fowl is 
so manifest, that they will always sell first, and realize 
a better price than any others in an open market. 
They are for the same reason more valuable for 
culinary purposes, three of them being equal to five 
of many other breeds. They do not sit The best 
time to rear them is between March and the end of 
May ; although not perhaps to be considered delicate 
chickens, so far as growth is concerned, yet it is 
certain they do not bear a check so weU as many 
other breeds, and it is therefore Well to watch them, 
that stimulants may be given in time. They are 
very naked when hatched, and are often a long 
time before they feather. They may be seen 


ZT^ about, with black feathers in their ^„„, 
and scarcely any other on their bodies A^f ' 
Penod they require to be cover^^!!; ^ 
at niffht Ti,^ covered verjr warmly 

this^ ^\T """^^'--^ cl'ickens of 
This i« . ,. ^^'' *^ *°*^ *»^ ^««i« old. 

milTtr^/''^ ***y- ^« «I«o 8i-e bread and 
fine f!^ r ^' '"'^ *'~^«'' '"«**• "tapped very 

mutton. These fowls are rather more difficult to 

or, by their constant health, being perfectly 
n^ from most of the banes of the poultry-yard. 

e sex of them is easUy distinguished, as the 

^^B show their combs plainly at a month old. At 

8 age we always look for growth in our Spanish 

tWn k' ''"* "'^ ^^^^ **'"• *** «>»«teract any 

Dg that may appear to be going wrong, and 

we repeat, our only remedy is stimulants. Being 

at ^ab^ ^^^^^ *° over-stocHng, we km faulty cocks, 

* * nt seren or eiglit -weeks old, it they show the 

. J . *"^* they can have, and the only one that 

^P ° 7 <leveiopgd a* an early age, we mean, a 

J'b^v!^'^^- Tb^ g^test merit a Spanish fowl 

tte best ^?P««fectI:r ^Mtef«e-, hutif acockhad 

^m i^».l<ile88 ^** ^** ®'^' ^''* 

44 FOWLS, 

would not excuse or palliate a drooping comb. If, 
therefore, there is no desire to rear them for the 
table, Bueh peccant cockerels should be killed as 
soon as the comb can be seen falling orer, as there 
is no possibility it can ever repay even one day's 
food. The chickens, and the best of them com- 
mon^, indeed, almost always have white feathers in 
the flight of the wings, and if they appear when 
hatched like magpies in colour, it need cause no 
apprehension, as it is a common thing, and they will 
bec4>me U^^k* 

It is almojst impossible to name any time when 
these fowls may be what is termed "weeded," 
when the faulty and inferior may be cast aside for 
market or table, and the dite reserve for exhibition 
or breeding. Cocks show the white face earlier thai^ 
pullets, indeed, we have known many that never 
had any red on any parts of their fSeuses ; but it is 
fair to add, they were precocians birds, and like 
most such prodigies, their exc^ence was confined 
to their youth, and in after life they could neither 
compare nor compete with those that took their time 
and ripened into excellence in due and natural 
course. We have no hope of a Spanish cock, if at 
twelve months old he has any red in his &ce. We 
would not even excuse that which some indulgent 
people would call only a blush, but the case is very 

different mth puUets. We have been constantly 
ndstaken, and therefore, warn others. We have 
many a time sold a draft pullet for a few shillings, 
and have been vexed by hearing soon afterwards 
she had made as many poands. 

At three months old, the lower part of a Spanish 
pullet's fece should be whitening, then the same 
change should take place in front of the eye, and the 
skin above the eye should become brown, instead of 
red ; mixed, or spotted with white. The progress 
of the change in colour may now be slow, but 
should be gradual The skin pale white, tinged 
"With blue, should become a dead opaque c<dour. 
The spots above the eye should enlarge and extend 
till but the shade of any colour remains. It is 
never safe to discard such a pullet as a bad one. 
But some may wish for directions to guide them m 
making selection among such as appear aU pro- 
mising. Choose cockerels with long legs, bold 
carriage, combs feultlessly upright and firm, ample 
*8il, good width between the eye aatid the insertikm 
of the comb, and blue legs. Pullets high on the 
legs, long taper bodies, long tails, and do not mind 
if the two long feathers look like young sickleSi and 
^'^ ^^er at the extremity. Look for long skinny 
faces, and lo^g gtrong beaks. Do not be guided by 
forward and deveiop^^ combs, unless the fexje has 

46 F0WI.9. 

kept pace with them. If you have to choose 
between those that have large red combs and dark 
hces, and whitening faces with backward combs, do 
not hesitate to take the latter. The comb must 
come in due coarse, the face is not subject to any 
similar compulsion. If at twelve months, a pullet 
is only white below the eye, and deep dark angry 
red above, she may be got rid of without com- 
punction, she will never be perfect. 

Lovers of these fowls have called them the 
aristocracy of poultry, and assuredly nothing can be 
prettier than a goodly troop of them, with their 
glossy plumage of raven black, their snow white faces, 
and bright red combs, spreading over a park or 
meadow. They do not, however, reserve their 
favours for those who can afford them these ex- 
pensive luxuries, they will live healthy, beautiful, 
prolific and contented, in the smallest, darkest, and 
dirtiest, back yard of a manufacturing town. It 
inay, perhaps, amuse some, if I describe a place 
where I saw some of the best Spanish fowls I ever 
saw. I offered £ 10 for the cock, and £ 7 for the 
hens, ineffectually. 

In a dose suburb of London, was one of a row of 
small houses, each had a yard, of perhaps three 
yards by two. This space was partly occupied by a 
water butt, and the remainder was needed as a 

FOWLS. 47 

drying-ground, and play-ground for the young Lon- 
doners, &c. The amateur was a man of resource, 
and knowing the capabilities of the breed, he con- 
structed a walk round the yard, resting against 
the wall and house. It went round three sides of 
the yard, was two feet wide, and the same height, a 
small space at the end was covered, and afforded a 
roosting and laying place. It was made of common 
laths, nailed lattice fashion, except the bottom, 
which was close, and kept gravelled, while a cabbc^e 
suspended by its stalks afforded them green meat. 
At times they had the luxury of a run in the yard ; 
but as a rule they lived in the place I have described, 
and I have never seen better or better conditioned 
birds than they were. It is contrary to my practice 
to relate anecdotes, or to use one unnecessary word ; 
but I know nothing that will illustrate the goodness 
of constitution, or the endurance of these fowls 
so weU as that I have related. In preparing these 
birds for exhibition, it is unquestionable that they 
do better during the last fortnight before the show 
in comparative confinement than they do at full 
liberty, and it is essential that they do not have 
too much light — clever people must enquire why 
and wherefore such is the case, we have only to do 
with results, and if any be incredulous, they may 
try the experiment. Let them take a Spanish hen 

48 FOWLS. 

or pullet faulty Reused, shut her up in a dark cage or 
box, keep her there for some days, and then look at 
her, they wiU see the improvement in consequence. 
One test of condition in the birds we speak of, more 
particularly of the pullets, is the state of the comb, 
which will be red, soft, and developed, just in 
proportion to the condition of the bird. While 
moulting, and they are almost naked daring this 
process, the comb entirely shrivels up. 

Birds of the highest strains will sometimes show 
foul feathers : the hens will have white spots — the 
cocks red in the wing, hackle, or saddle. These are 
blots that a judge cannot overiook, but they are not 
necessarily hereditary, nor should an otherwise good 
bird be discarded as a breeder for these freaks of 
plumage. The amateur of these fowls, who expects 
to rear many first class fowls, will be doomed 
to disappointment. Even from the most carefully 
selected parents, the perfect birds will not be more 
than one in twelve, or not so many. But the 
others will be good saleable birds, and the two or 
four will always repay the expense and trouble of the 
lot. This is one of the old fashioned breeds — 
favourites of long standing in England, and will 
always be admired. 

There are white Spanish fowls, but they are not 

FOWLS. 49 

much admired ; the fieu^e, which forms so good a con- 
trast with a black plamage, looks sickly and poor 
when put with feathers of the same colour ; it is one 
of their vagaries in moulting to turn quite white. I 
have one now that has done so, and I know of many 
others. I once had a cock with a white ring, Hke 
that of a mallard, round his neck. 

We formerly got all our best Spanish fowls from 
Holland, and still get some good ones ; but the great 
demand for them in this country has nearly exhausted 
the market there. They are known as Minorcas in 
DeYonshire^ where there were great numbers of them, 
but they are iiost degenerating into common black 

We are not, however, writing for those only who 
look for perfection in their birds; we have, therefore, 
a word to say to those who care not, or who cannot 
afford to keep oidy perfect, and, consequently, 
expensive ones. AU the beauties we have enu- 
merated as characteristic of this breed, can be 
secured at a small cost, provided some spots of red 
are overloked or put up with. These birds are 
quite as vigorous and as free in laying as the most 
expensive that can be purchased. We leave them 
with advice to the amateur who lives in a small 
place in a dose town, and, therefore, is perforce 

50 FOWLS. 

content to keep fowls and eat eggs, but is obliged to 
class cbickens among unattainable luxories, to 
adopt Spanish. 


B AKTAMS have long been favourites in England, their 
small size, their beauly, and their impudence gaining 
them admirers. Many years since, only those that 
were feathered to the toes, were admired. The late 
Sir John Sebright, by much attention and a thorot^h 
knowledge of the subject, succeeded in producing 
birds of surpassing beauty and symmetry. Those 
that bear his name are the most appreciated by 
fanciers ; they are of two colours, gold and sflver ; 
they must haye double combs, with pointed end rising 
upwards, and well seated on the head, firmly fixed, not 
inclining to one side, nor yet raised on a fleshy ped- 
estal ; laced feathers, each being edged with black ; 
blue legs, without even the suspicion of a feather on 
them ; upright tail tipped, with black at the point, 
which must be round and equal in width to the widest 
part of the feather. There should not be eyen a 

fowls: 51 

tendency to a curve in it. The side tail feathers 
rising from the back to the tail should also be flat, 
round topped, and accurately lsu;ed. There must 
be no hackle or saddle. In many respects they should 
closely resemble a hen cock. These are the princi- 
pal points of the male. The hen requires the same 
comb, the same accurate lacing, the prominent breast, 
drooping wing ; her head should be very small, beak 
sharp. The carriage of these birds should resemble 
that of a good Fantail pigeon ; the head and tail 
should be carried up in the strut of the bird, tiM they 
are nearer meeting than in any other fowl ; and the 
wing should drop down the side instead of being car- 
ried up. In both sexes, the wing feathers should be 
tipped with black, and even the long feathers laced. 
Like all other first class birds, these are difficult to get, 
and lest amateurs should be discouraged, Imay almost 
yenture to say, a faultless bird is hardly to be found. 
From the best bred parents, single combed chickens 
will constantly appear, but these will again produce 
perfect double combed progeny. Such are however, 
only to be trusted when the possessor of them is sure, 
that although defective themselves, their parents were 
faultless in this particluar. Small size is a desidera- 
tum in these fowls, they are therefore seldom bred 
early, as growth is not desired. August is early 
enough ^to hatch them. Perfect cocks should not 

£ 3 

53 FOWLS. 

weigh more tban seventeen ounces, nor the hen 
more than fourteen. 

None but those who understand the process, can 
imagine the difficulties of producing the Sebright ban- 
tams. They were the result of years, and can only 
now be kept up by frequent changes of blood ; if this 
be neglected, and the same stock is bred firom year 
after year, the lacing first disappears, next the colours 
come in patches, and at last you get single combs, 
sickle feathers, and ugly yellow and black birds. 

Other Bantams, to pretend to excdlence, should 
be diminutive as the Sebright, and should have the 
same arrogant gait. But they differ inasmuch as 
the males should be large cocks in miniature, with 
hackle, saddle, and fully developed tail. The rule 
of comb is not so imperative. In black and white 
birds it should be double, but it is not so necessary, 
nor does the substitution of a single one cause dis- 
qualification. In the black breed, white deaf-^ars 
are necessary to excellence, and in both those of 
which we speak the sickle feathers should be long 
and well carried. No fowl has made more rapid or 
certain advances in public favour than the Game 
Bantam. At present we have duck-wings and black- 
breasted reds in numbers; we have seen some 
brown reds. The progress made justifies us in 
believing that ere long we shall have every variety 

FOWLS. 68 

of Game represented among these diminutive birds. 
They are subject to the same laws of matching as 
the game fowls, the cock must not have the strut of 
the bantam, but the bold, fearless, unquailing de- 
meanour of the game ; his wings must not droop, 
but must be carried close up to his body, and his 
feathers must be hard and close. As they are also 
subject to the same laws of colour and matching, 
they should be carefully mated with hens of the 
same breed, both as to feather and colour of legs. 
The hens should be longer than ordinary bantams, 
and like the cock should be clean, hard, and rather 
scanty of feather. They should also have the game 
head and expression of face, and have small straight 
upright, and numerously serrated combs. Feathered 
legged Bantams may be of any colour; the old 
fashioned birds were very smaU, falcon-hocked, and 
feathered with long quill feathers to the extremity 
of the toe. Many of them were bearded. They are 
now very scarce ; indeed, till exhibitions brought 
them again into notice, these beautiful specimens of 
their tribe were aU neglected and fast passing away. 
Nothing but the Sebright was cultivated, but now 
we bid fair to revive the pets of our ancestors in all 
their beauty. 

64 FOWLS. 


The Malay fowl, thoagh formerly much fmcied 
and sought after, has of late years been suffered to 
decline. However unpalateable the truth may be to 
some who recollect the palmy days of competition^ 
it must be said, this bird has fallen before the spirit 
of utility ; it was not useful, and it has lost grooad. 
It is a long, rather than a large bird, standing re- 
markably upright, falling in an almost uninter- 
rupted slope from the head to the insertion of the 
tail, which is small and drooping, having very beau- 
tiful, though short, sickle feathers. It has a hard, 
cruel expression of face, a bold eye, pearled around 
the edge of the lids, a hard small comb, scarcely 
80 long as the head, and having much the appear- 
ance of a double comb trimmed very small and then 
flattened; a red skinny hjce, very strong curved 
beak, and the space for an inch below it on the 
throat destitute of feathers ; it has long yellow legs, 
quite clean ; it is remarkable for very hard plumage, 
and the hinder parts of the cock look like those of a 
game cock trimmed for fighting. The hen is of 
course smaller than the cock; she has the same 
expression of face, the same curious comb, and in 
both sexes, the plumage should be so hard, that 

FOWLS* 55 

when handled, it should feel as though one feather 
covered the whole hodj ; from this cause the wings 
of the hen are more prominent than in other fowls, 
projecting something like those of a carrier pigeon, 
tibough in a less degree. It is a heauty in these 
birds if the projections or knobs of flesh at the crop, 
on the end wing joint, and at the top of the breast, 
are naked and red. They are moderate layers and 
good setters ; their eggs have a dark shell, and are 
said to be superior in flavour to any other. 

The original colours were, cocks of a bright rich 
red, with black breast ; and hen of a light chocolate 
or cinnamon colour, generally one entire shade, but 
in some instances, the hackles were darker than the 
rest of the plumage. We have since had beautiful 
white specimens, and a few years since, there was a 
handsome breed of them coloured like some of the 
game piles. 


Qahe fowls. — ^Although there are many different 
strains of game fowls, the distinctions are so depen- 
dent on colour, that the description of one suffices 
for all, as the points are identicaL 

56 FOWLS. 

All Englishmen have a sort of liking tor a game 
cock, although many abhor coek fightings and hun- 
dreds who dread their comihats still ding to the 
breed. There are two seta of amotears, one loaka 
only to befltaty of plumage; the other, careless ei 
feather, scans closely those points that will teM in 
the pit If fowls were not wanted for the table^ and 
i£ perfect eymmetry, beaatiM colonr, haziLihood tmd. 
daring, were aU that was required of them, the 
amateur might possess duokwings, piles, or blade 
breasted reds, or any other of the numerous yariettes, 
and rest content. He would indeed be obliged to 
limit the number of his pets, becanse the maLes will 
not i^ree ; and unless the young eoeks ore looked 
upon with pride, as those that are to figure in a 
main, there is always sadness in seeing sprightly 
ones growing up, because it is certain they xnuat be 
got rid of in some way, or they will fight among 
themselves till but two or three remain. Nor is 
this propensity confined to cocks; I have known 
high-bred hens quite as pugnacious ; and fatal con- 
tests between them are things of common occurrence. 

The game cock is of bold carriage ; his comb is 
single, bright red and upright ; hi» face and wattle 
a beautiful red colour ; the expression of count^xance 
fearless, but without the cruelty of the Malay ; the 
eye very full and bright ; the beak strong, curved, 

FOWLS. 67 

well fixed in the head, and very stout at the roots. 
The hreast should be full, perfectly straight, the 
body round in hand, broad between the shoulders, 
and tapering to the tail, having the shape of a flat- 
iron. The thighs hard, short, and round, the leg 
stout, the feot flat and strong, and the spur not high 
on the leg. The wings are so placed on the body 
as to be available for sudden and rapid springs. 
The feathers should be hard, very strong in quills, 
and like the Malay it should seem as though all their 
feathers were glued together till they felt like one. 
A game eock in hand should be what fanciers call 
** clever," every proportion shoxdd be in perfect har- 
mony, and the bird placed on his breast in the palm 
of the hand should exactly balance. 

This is another of those breeds where any devia- 
tion from perfection is fatal. It has been well said 
**A perfect one is not too good, and therefore an 
imperfect one is not good enough.** Abundant 
plumage, long soft hackles and saddles, too much 
tail, or a tail carried squirrel fashion aver the back : 
the least deviation from straightness of the breast 
bone, long thighs, in-knees, weak beaks, or coarse 
heads are all faults and should be avoided. These 
birds are„ dubbed before they are shown, and this 
should be neatly performed, every superfluous piece 
of skin and flesh being removed, so that the head 

68 FOWLS. 

should stand out of the hackle, as though it were 
shaven. The plumage should also he so scanty that 
the shape of the hird, especially the tapering of the 
hack, and the roundness of the hody may he seen, 
every feather should feel as if made of whalebone, 
and if raised with the finger should ML into its 
original place. It should be abnost impossible 
to ruffle the plumage of a game cock. The tail 
should be rather small than otherwise, and be car- 
ried somewhat drooping. The plumage of these 
birds is trimmed before they fight — this is called 
" cutting out,'' — ^and the less there is to remove in 
the way of feather, the better the bird. They are 
in every respect fighting birds, and we think every 
one sees a set-to between two of them with pleasure, 
if it occurs as they pass through a yard. The hens 
should be like the cocks allowing for difference of 
sex, the necks and heads fine, legs taper, plumage 
hard, and combs small, upright, and serrated. Hens 
should not be chosen with large or loose combs, and 
they should handle as hard as the cocks. 

FOWLS. 69 


The original Poland Fowls were Black with white 
top-knots, and Gold and Silver spangled. There 
was formerly a breed of White with black top-knot, 
bat that is lost. There are now White, Black,. 
Spangled, and Chamois. The three first are well 
known, and amenable to rule both in description 
and jadging. The others may be called in process 
of formation. Before treating of them generally, 
a few remarks are necessary on the subject of 
beards. These appendages were not admired till 
recently, and it is still question of dispute, whether 
the pure bird should have them or not Individual 
opinion can have but little weight in deciding a 
difficult point, unless some proof can be brought in 
support of it. I am not the partisan of one or the 
other, but as at Exhibitions aU are classed together, 
and objections have been taken by the amateurs of 
bearded birds, that those destitute of that addition 
should be allowed to take prizes, I think it but fair 
to state as an importer of very many years standing, 
that among the early birds brought from the Con- 
tinent, not one in a hundred was bearded, and those 
that were so were often rejected. The first really 
good pen I ever saw was at the show held in the 

00 FOWLS. 

Zoological Gardens, Regent's Park, in 1846. They 
were exhibited by the late Lord Saye and Sele, and 
being successful in gaining a medal, were christened, 
in honour of their owner, " Belvedere" Fowls, that 
being the name of His Lordship's seat. Those who 
judged in the early days of shows can recollect when 
the bearded were the exceptions. I am not the par- 
tisan of either, but I thought a few words called for 
in favour of those who have not yet joined the 
" beard and moustache movement." 

Having said this, I will now describe the general 
characteristics of the Poland fowls as now shown 
and admired. 

The crest of the cock is composed of straight 
feathers, something like those of a hackle or saddle ; 
they grow from the centre of the crown, and fall 
over outside, forming a circular crest. That of the 
hen is made up of feathers growing out and turning 
in at the extremity, till they form a large top- knot, 
which should in shape resemble a cauliflower. The 
carriage is upright, and the breast more protube- 
rant than in any other fowl, save the Sebright 
bantam. The body is very round and full, slightly 
tapering to the tail, which is carried erect, and which 
is ample, spreading towards the extremity in the hen, 
and having well-defined sickle feathers in the cock. 
The legs should be lead-coloured, or black, and 
rather short than otherwise. 

FOWLS. 61 

In the black species, there should be no white 
feathers save in the top-knot, in that there shoiild 
be no black ones, but I have never yet seen anj 
without them. It is a very common pr&ctice to cut 
them off close to the skin, so that it appears perfect, 
but at the first moult they re-appear. 

In the golden and silver varieties, the spangling 
of the feathers should be black, and as correct and 
regular as possible ; the ground colour should be rich 
golden tint in the one, and frosted silver in the other. 
In both cocks and hens the wings should be laced, 
each feather should have a black marking running 
the length of it, and when the wing is closed, it 
should show three or four stripes, terminated on each 
feather by a distinct black spangle. There exists 
difference of opinion as to the marking of the breast 
of the cock; some like it dark, others spangled. 
My own opinion inclines to the latter. The colour 
of the top-knot is another open question. Some 
admit white feathers, indeed prefer them ; others 
would consider them a grievous fault. I hold with 
the latter. I have seen spangled birds with pure 
white top-knots, and they were very handsome, but 
I still think they should be entirely of the same 
colour as the fowls ; every feather should be laced 
like those of a Sebright bantam, although I admit it 
will be impossible to get them quite so distinct. 

•^ «■- ^^ r^ J" r- 

even the Ie«8t spikes ^»„ k . V " 8^' «»' 

^ ^ "'"' oe tolera<Ml tu 
improvement ia required in «^'*™- The same 

dear white with a black stot T.C^^^ *" ^ 
feather. The lacina oTl! ^ '"** "^ ««h 

and while the colo««wi T ^^ *"*^ *°** I'ens, 
Of W feaC^ttr^"'^'- •^•"^-^ 

iswelflshorsIZtlrh -""''^^' ^* 
top-knots it is i„,„„ M •'^^ "^^ »^te 

always be left T — '^ "^^^ '^'^ ^^''"Id 
andT,!! T. °^« " ^^'*°'^ «" advantage 

appearances cannot Jl L* ''/^^•''^' «« ««'*^« 
ever much thr^J^^^^ accomplished, how- 

ai^ not desiraMeT ^e tT' ^*« ^-the« 

Poland hens, but Z, ^^""^ '' ^' ^"^^ 

,' ""^t they are always there AnA ti. 
increase as they get older. "'ere. and they 

These birds are veiy subject to deform-* . 
crooked backs aro eomn,„ '*e*»nnity, and 

amateur who wiZ 1 \ '^"°« **'^'"- The 
Who washes to purchase wiU do weU when 

FOWLS. 63 

he holds the bird in his left hand, to lay the palm of 
his right fiat on its back, he will often detect one 
hip, i. e., the insertion of the thigh bone higher than 
the other ; or he will find a curve in the back-bone 
from the hips to the tail. As these are transmitted 
to their ofiispring, and as it is often difficult to get 
good crosses, such birds should always be rejected. 


The Bbahma Pootra Fowl. When some years ago 
I began writing on the Cochin China Fowl, I stated 
that owing to the difierence of opinion that existed, 
I approached them with diffidence. I may say the 
same now about the Brahma Pootra, but my notions 
are strengthened by the reflection, that aU I have 
written is the result of observation and close study 
during some years. It is unquestionable that we 
have much to learn and discover about them, but we 
know enough to form an accurate opinion. We have 
in them diversity of colour and comb, but we have the 
same in the dorking ; yet few will pretend that a rose- 
combed cock of that breed is not as pure as a single, 
or that a slate or brown hen is not as true as the most 

64 FOWLS, 

figustidiously correct Grey or Speckle. As I at the 
outset advocated their claim to the honour of heing a 
distinct breed, I now say I have seen nothing to alter 
my opinion. In all adverse writers there is a total 
absence of argument, but a lavish use of the assertion 
that they axe Cochins and nothing else. One only 
point has been touched upon, which is similarity of 
shape. Now what is this argument worth? whether 
they come from China or India we will not stop to 
discuss. It is enough that they come from the East, 
from Asia. The deficiency of tail is the characteris- 
tic of all their Fowls — Cochins, Brahmas, Malays. 
Even the Jungle fowl (the Hyasna for wildness of all 
GaUinacse, and one that can weU be called untame- 
able), although the most favoured of his country in the 
way of tail, carries it drooping. That the eggs are 
alike in colour cannot weigh, because aU our Asiatic 
birds lay cream or chocolate coloured. If feathered 
legs are to prove their identity with Cochins, then 
from that I would deduce proof of their distinctness. 
Out of large numbers I have bred I have never had a 
clean-legged chicken. If the tables were turned, an 
Asiatic with equal truth might affino, there is but 
one breed in England, because all are clean legged, 
heve ample tails, and lay white eggs. If Dorkings 
were first imported into any independent state, and 
had a run for two or three years ; then when Ham- 

FOWLS. 65 

burghs or Game took their places, we should, if parties 
took the same views they do in this country, have 
the importers of the latter advertising their new 
breeds, and the holders of the former striving their 
best to prove that all were identical, although 
differing in many essential points. 

I will now give my ideas and experiences of these 
birds, and shall honestly tell all I know. If, when 
we know more, I am proved to be wrong, I shall at 
once admit my error. If right, I shall have nothing 
to add or retract. 

That these fowls are of Asiatic origin is beyond 
dispute, and that they partake of the principal charac- 
teristics of the birds of that quarter of the globe, is 
also undeniable. Still in my opinion the difference 
between them is marked, although perhaps made up 
of apparent trifles. Take an analogous case. The 
Ortolan is a bird unknown in England, the yellow- 
hammer is common. To an inexperienced eye, or to 
a man fresh from a town, one would at any time pass 
for the other. People have given opinions on these 
fowls, without taking the pains to ascertain whether 
they were formed on pure specimens. They have 
judged their habits where they were oonflned in 
small spaces. It is a common remark that an 
Englishman is recognized as such every where, while 
men of other countries are merely known as foreign- 


66 FOWLS. 

ers : but this distinction is only perceptible to those 
who know the characteristics of the inhabitants of the 
different countries. A new Zealander would class 
all as white men. Now I honestly believe many of 
our correspondents on Fowls are in the position of 
this New Zealander. I have imported and bred these 
Fowls for two years ; I have watched then narrowly, 
and find they differ in many points from the Cochin, 
with which they are sought to be identified. They 
wander from home, and they will get their own living; 
they never throw a clean legged chicken ; they have 
deep breasts ; they lay larger eggs, and they are har- 
dier. I have fiatched them in snow, and have reared 
them all out of doors without any other shelter than 
a piece of mat or carpet thrown over the coop at 
night. From any birds that I have kept I have never 
had an untrue chicken, all being more or less grey. 
They are hatched almost black or yellow, and the 
dark get lighter, and the light darker. I have never 
had a dean legged or a five clawed chicken fi:x)m them. 
From some fresh imported hens, I have had out of a 
hundred, some three or four brown chickens, which I 
am keeping to see what they will be. I take little 
notice of it, because I cannot know their parentage, 
but from my own birds kept through the season, I 
have not had one faulty chicken in any particular. 
They eat less than the Cochins. They differ in 

FOWLS. 67 

combs, some being single, some pea-comb. The 
latter has never been seen on any other fowl. It 
has the appearance of three combs pressed closely 
together, that in the centre being higher than 
the others. Another thing worthy of remark 
is, that in many of the single combs, close 
observation will show on either side, the plain 
impression of another, the evident remains of that 
which had been a pea-comb, and by interbreeding 
had disappeared. I would define the points of a 
choice specimen thus : pea-comb, protuberant breast, 
strutting carriage, well-feathered yellow legs, flat 
back between the hackle and the tail, and the latter 
fuU of feathers, the principal ones diverging as in a 
black cock. The under feathers of both cocks and 
hens should be dark. The most perfect specimens 
should have for the cocks, mottled breasts, dark tails, 
light hackles and saddles ; the hens all over the body 
pencilled like the Silver Pheasant, and with what we 
should call in others, a silver hackle. I do not 
undertake to say these only are pure, nor would I 
seek to disqualify those that are single combed. 
There may be variety in that respect as in Dorkings, 
and I have seen very beautiful birds white, save the 
hackle, tail, and flight, which were black. 

I have reprinted the foregoing, because there still 

remain unbelievers about these valuable fowls. The 

f2 • 

68 FOWLS. 

six years that have elapsed since it was written, have 
only confirmed the opinion I entertain of their value 
in every respect. They are beyond contradiction, 
the best winter layers we have, they rank among 
the very prolific producers of eggs throughout the 
year, they seem to be as hardy as it is possible for 
fowls to be, they are good sitters and mothers, and 
good for the table. Although they appeared at a 
time when people were suffering from the effect of 
the decline of the Cochin mania, they held their own ; 
they have made way, and have succeeded in forming 
numerous and attractive classes. Their purity and 
the possibility of breeding them truly are proved 
by the long success of some exhibitors, and the array 
of beautiful pens are alike in the main particulars, 
which are always seen at the principal shows. The 
white birds with black Bights and tails, and striped 
hackles, have proved themselves as fine and good as 
the pencilled. The color is entirely matter of taste. 


The various class at the different exhibitions has 
brought prominently before the public numbers of 

FOWLS. 69 

different birds that were before but little known : 
We will begin with Creepies, Bakies, or Dumpies. 
The first were exhibited some years since by 
H. B. H. Pince Albert at Birmingham. These 
had more appearance of distinctness of breed than 
any I have seen since. They were in feather 
somewhat like inferior silver pencilled Hambro's. 
They were ridiculously close to the ground. In 
those we have seen since, uniformity of feather is 
sadly wanted, and unless it can be accomplished, 
I fear the fact of their being very short legged will 
not gain them a position in the prize list. It is also 
necessary they should either all have four or five 
claws, as if cross-bred, they deserve nothing, and if 
pure, they should be well defined. They were 
formerly well known and common in Scotland, and 
had the reputation of being excellent layers. Their 
principal points are large bodies, very full in hand, 
ample tail carried erect, very long and perfect 
sickle feathers, and proud carriage. Legs almost 
imperceptible. For some time these birds dis- 
appeared, but of late we have seen several pens, 
apparently well selected, arguing the means of 
choice on the part of their possessors. 

70 FOWLS. 


Ptaemigan Fowls. — ^The origin of these birds is 
enveloped in mystery. It is the opinion of many 
amateurs that they may be made by crossing the old 
feather-legged white Bantam cock, with the white 
Poland hen. The shape and appearance of the bird 
would favour the idea, but in the face of the assurance 
of the breeders that they are pure, and breed true, we 
are bound to admit it. They are birds of pleasing 
appearance, gay carriage, rather upright than other- 
wise. Colour pure white ; legs heavily feathered vnth 
stout quill feathers to thatoe. Yulture-hocked; the 
feathers reaching nearly to the ground. Tail ample 
in both sexes and carried well up ; the body rather 
small and very round and plump in the hand ; legs 
white! The top-knot of the cock should differ from 
all others, inasmuch as it should rise from the head 
in long feathers, and projecting forwards beyond the 
beak, curl upwards at the extremity something like 
•the principal feathers of the crest of the cockatoo. 
That of the hen on the contrary, although ample, 
falls back like a lark crest. 

The Friesland or Frizzled Fowl. — This bird 

FOWLS. 71 

for many years was better known in England as tbe 
French Fowl ; it has little merit beyond its extra- 
ordinary plumage. Every feather should be stiffly 
curled, and the flight feathers of the wings should 
be little more than quiUs. As no pains have been 
taken to breed them, those exhibited generally vary 
in colour, both of feathers and legs. They have no 
class, and unless amateurs are more particular, they 
will lose all chance of distinction, as other breeds 
will ecHpse them. 

The Japanese Bantam or Silky Fowl. — There 
is no question of the purity of these extraordinary 
birds, as they have been known many years in this 
country. They are covered with white hair instead 
of feathers, but the wings have long quills in them. 
Their faces, flesh, combs, legs and bones are blue ; 
the deaf-ear varies, inasmuch as it shows white 
under the metallic tinge. Many have five toes, 
double combs, and small top-knots; others lack 
these distinctions. Their chief points are, purely 
white plumage, blue skin and bones throughout. 
They are hardy, cheerful, and pleasing birds for 
those to keep who admire curiosities. They are 
average layers, and excellent sitters and mothers. 
They are said to be good for the table, but their 
appearance is so repulsive, few have had the courage 

73 FOWLS, 

to taste them. They make capital sitters and mothers 
for any small breed of fowls or game. 

The RutfPEiN or Rumpless Fowl is another 
that delights the amateur in the rarious classes of an 
exhibition. If it had a tail, and were consequently 
not what it is, it would be a pretty bird. It is a 
pure breed, and admits of description. It has a 
remarkably sharp, intelligent face, round body, very 
full breast, and taper legs. It is, doubtless, the 
absence of tail that gives the appearance, but it has 
more of rotundity in shape than any fowl I know. 
There is no settled colour for them, but they are 
generally brown or black. 

The Emu or Silky Cochin is of recent intro- 
duction. They are an accidental variety. In giving 
such au unqualified opinion, I should give my reasons 
for it ; they are as follow : 

I had a walk of BuflF Cochins, from which I bred 
two years in succession ; the next year, out of about 
sixty chickens, nineteen were silky; and they were 
not partially so, but they were without a feather on 
them : they still retained their uniform buff colour. 
I have observed and pointed out to many amateurs 
at shows where I have been judging, a tendency to 
this variety in the specimens exhibited. The first 

FOWLS. 73 

indication is at the extremity of the wing feathers 
and the covering of the thighs, it looks like an 
extension of the fluff oyer the feathers. The hirds 
disappeared as suddenly as they came. I bred from 
the same birds for two years, and breed still at the 
same place, but have never seen one since the fore- 
going was published. 

The Andalusian Fowl. — ^This bird has most 
points in common with the Spanish, of which it is, in 
the opinion of most judges, an off-shoot. The chief 
difference is in colour ; being, instead of black, of a 
slate blue, shaded with darker tints. They are 
long on the leg ; the hen has a drooping comb ; 
that of the cock should be upright. They are 
handsome and stately birds, said to be very hardy, 
and excellent layers. Although they have been 
exhibited for years, they have not yet been deemed 
of sufficient importance to deserve a place in a distinct 
class. It is however but fair to state, that good 
specimens are seldom shown without being dis- 
tinguished by the judges. Th^ should have the 
white deaf-ear, but are not required to have the 
white face. 

The Rangoon Fowl. — These are little known ; 
they have nevertheless been often exhibited and have 
always taken a prize but once. They have much 

74 . FOWLS. 

the same character as the Malay, but the neck and 
head are not so skinny, nor have they the same 
cruelty of expression in the face. They are capable 
of being made Yery heavy, as the hens in ordinary 
condition weigh from eight to nine pounds each, 
and*the cocks ten. They are of upright carriage, tail 
rather drooping; their legs are of bright yellow, and 
their plumage of a deep, dark red spotted with 
white, exactly like the red speckled Dorkings, known 
as Sir John Gathcart*s. It is some time since we 
have seen any of these. 

The Ancona Fowl. — This remarkable bird, 
although it has been before the public for some 
years, has made little progress in becoming a 
favourite. It is not surprising, as it is more 
curious than handsome. Its chief peculiarity is a 
comb of most unusual size, which hangs over, 
entirely concealing one side of the face ; its wattles 
are also very long and large. It is rather undersized 
than otherwise, and short-legged. The common 
colour is black, intermixed with white feathers. 
They are said to . be prolific layers, and to produce 
unusually large eggs. 

FOWLS. 75 



However reluctant those concerned with poultry 
may be to acknowledge the fact, it is not the less true 
that most old women who Hve in cottages know 
better how to rear chickens than any other persons ; 
they are more successful, and it may be traced to 
the fact, that they keep but few fowls, that these 
fowls are allowed to run freely in the house, to roll 
in the ashes, to approach the fire, and to pick up 
any crumbs or eatable morsels they find on the 
ground, and are nursed with the greatest care and 

I have already stated, I believe, the grey, or 
speckled Dorking, to be the best fowl there is for 
the table; and, as the first consideration is the 
breeding stock, I would advise, in an ordinary farm- 
yard, to begin with twelve hens and two cocks, the 
latter should agree well together. 

Too much pains cannot be taken in selecting the 
breeding fowls ; they should not only be of the best 
breed but the best of the breed. I woidd choose 
them with small heads, taper necks, broad shoulders. 

76 FOWLS. 

square bodies, white legs, and well-defined five claws 
on each foot ; touching the claws, I would remark it 
will sometimes happen that breeding from cock and 
pullet, each five clawed, chickens will come, lack- 
ing that distinctive mark ; it does not follow there is 
any fault in the breed, as the produce of these 
chickens will probably be five-clawed, but I would 
only tolerate it in home-bred chickens ; in buying 
for stock, I would insist not only on the presence of 
the five-claws but on every other characteristic of 
the breed being prominent. 

It may be well here to state why the speckled, or 
grey, are to be preferred to the white Dorking. 
They are larger, hardier, and fat more readily, and 
although it may appear anomalous it is not less 
true that white feathered poultry has a tendency to 
yellowness in the flesh and fat. 

Having the stock, the next point will be breeding. 
I am a great advocate for choosing young birds for 
this purpose, and with that view would advise that 
perfect early pullets be selected every year for stock 
the following season, and put with two-year old cocks ; 
for instance, pullets hatched in May, they attain their 
growth and become perfect in shape, size, and health, 
before the chiUs of winter. They should be put with 
cocks of two-years old, when they will lay on the 
first appearance of mild weather, and their produce 

FOWLS. 77 

has the same advantage as these have had before 
them. I do not advocate having young stock fowls 
so much on account of their laying early as I do for 
the superiority of their breeding. Neither do I 
approve of breeding from fowls all the same age, i. e,, 
all chickens. I would put a cock, for his first 
season, with two-year-old hens. A pullet, such as 
I describe, will often begin to lay directly after 
Christmas, but I would not allow her to set her 
first eggs, they seldom produce good chickens, and 
if the weather (as frequently happens) prove un- 
favourable, many of the eggs fail to hatch. The 
second sitting, probably brings the best fowls the 
pullet will ever breed. It is well to introduce fresh 
cocks of pure breed, into the yard every second 
year; this prevents degeneracy, and for the same 
reason, no cock should be kept for more than three 
seasons, nor hen more than four, if it is intended to 
keep them in the highest possible perfection and 

Of hatching I will say very little, as the hen will 
do that naturally, and consequently well. A hen 
will cover and hatch fifteen eggs ; all nests should be 
on the ground, and the hens should be watched, else, 
when a setting hen has left her nest for a short time, 
another will steal in and lay among the eggs already 
set on ; this is an evil, as it causes irregular andim- 

78 FOWLS. 

perfect hatcliiiig; it unsettles the hen, and the chick- 
ens are not properly attended to by her. It is a very 
common thing for a hen to steal her nest in a hedge, 
or other protected spot ; if she choose a secure place 
she should not be disturbed, as these hens often bring 
out the best broods. 

Coops, in which to put hens with chickens, are so 
common it will* be unnecessaiy to say anything of 
them. The hen should be kept in the coop, or rather 
under it, at least six weeks, and in the winter the 
longer she is under it the better ; the coops should 
be often moved, to give the young brood the advan- 
tage of as much sun as possible, as this promotes 
their growth, and also prevents the ground from be- 
coming tainted. I would always advise, where space 
will permit, that fresh ground be chosen for the dif- 
ferent broods during the breeding season ; thus, one 
part in April,. another in May, and so on. 


I NOW come to the question of feeding. It is too 
often presumed that little care is required as to their 
feeding from the time they leave the coop until the 

FOWLS. 79 

time* they are put up for fattening. They are 
allowed the run of the yard, without considering 
what a precarious suhsistence this affords; there 
may he ahundance of food at some periods and little 
or none at others. They should he fed regularly, 
and care should he taken that each of them (for they 
are aU either to he hrought up for the tahle or for 
stock) shall have a fair share. 

I advise, from the first, to feed the hen and her 
chickens weU, in the following manner : — instead of 
throwing downhandsful of whole com let it he ground 
and slaked with lukewarm milk, to such consistence 
that when a hall of it is thrown on the ground it will 
hreak and scatter ahout in particles; if there he 
green-meat, such as onion-tops, chopped fine and 
mixed with it, so much the hotter. They should he 
fed only so long as they will run after it, as soon as 
they are careless ahout it they have had enough. 
They may also have chopped egg, roast or hoiled 
mutton chopped fine, in fact a continual change. 
They must he fed every hour, or oftener. As they 
get older this may he gradually discontinued, and 
they may feed with the old fowls. But even with 
old hirds a change of food is not only advantageous 
hut necessary; and I would tl^erefore advise that 
twice per week the food he changed for a day or 



two, and boiled or crushed corn substituted for meal. 
Tliej must also hare constant opportunities of peck* 
ing among grass and other herbs. Fowls in oonfine* 
ment will starve and pine to death, with heaps 
of barlej around them, unless they have these 

Next as to water. It is too much the idea that 
any description will do, and that provided there be 
some within their reach, though it have been there a 
week, nothing more is required. This is a mistake. 
Water for fowls and chickens should be very clean ; 
the vessel containing it should be well rinsed out 
every morning ; it is a good plan to put a little gravel 
at the bottom, and it should be changed twice a day. 
I am aware many will be disposed to think this 
unnecessaiy, but I will ask anyone who has the 
opportunity to tiy whether, where there is a stream 
of water running throu^ a yard, they can cause 
the poultry to forsake it by placing water nearer to 
their haunts : it will always be found they prefer 
going to the stream to drinking out of the pan or 

Many gentlemen who take pains in breeding poul- 
try, and aH gamekeepers, vnll say how advantageous 
it is for fowls, pheasants and all gallinaceous birds, 
to have a constant supply of pure cfean water. 

POWLS. 81 

There is little doubt many of the diseases of poultry 
arise from the filthy water they are often obliged to 
drink from ponds full of decayed vegetable matter, 
and tainted by the Ml of -leaves, in autumn and 
winter, from over-hanging trees. 

The well-doing of chickens depends on the observ- 
ance of these apparent trifles. I know fowls will 
grow up without it, will lay, set, hatch, and rear 
their young, but they only produce the fowls so 
universally complained of at the tables of the nobihty 
and gentry when in the country. I also know the 
fowls brought to the London market have not half 
the care I inculcate bestowed on them ; but, on the 
other hand, it must be borne in mind the hen 
that hatches an early brood of chickens plays an 
important part in a cottage ; her young are put in 
flannel in a basket before the fire (and the children 
are driven away to make room for her), she and her 
brood live in-doors, they pick up every crumb and 
share every meal. 

This is because her progeny will often in May 
realize from two to three pounds ; in fact, very often 
the hen buys the pig that forms the winter food of 
the family ; the poor man or woman tries by such 
indulgence to compensate for the scarcity of food 
which their situation renders unavoidable. 

As the chickens get older they will require feeding 

82 FOWLS. 

less often, but they must never be allowed to fall off 
in condition, and after from ten or twelve weeks in 
the summer, or from fourteen to eighteen in the 
winter, they will be ready to fat, if required. 


Thebe are two methods of fatting ; one is by feeding 
in troughs, these are called peckers ; another is by 
cramming : where merely a good useful fowl is re- 
quired the first process will suffice, but when it is 
wished to make a fowl equal to those found in the 
London market the second must be resorted to: 
in both cases such a coop or pen as I will endeavour 
to describe will be required. 

A coop for twelve fowls should be thirty inches high, 
three feet long, and twenty-two inches deep; it should 
stand about two feet from the ground, the front made 
of bars of about three inches apart, the bottom also 
made of bars about an inch and a half apart to ensure 
cleanliness, and made to run the length of the coop, 
so that the fowl constantly stands, when feeding or 
resting, in the position of perching ; the sides, back. 

FOWLS. 83 

and top may be made the same, or the back may be 
solid. There should be a trough in front of the 
coop, and I much prefer it wedge-shaped, thus, 

Vto the square ones generally in use. It 
is much easier to clean. It only re- 
quires a flat board, running along the 
front of the coop, having a groove cut in it to receive 
the bottom of the trough, and an upright piece at 
the edge to support it. It is easily movea'ble, which 
is necessary, as it must be scalded once every day to 
keep it sweet. 

This trough must be filled three times a day with 
food, the quantity being regulated by the number of 
fowls fatting; the food should be oatmeal mixed 
slack, but not quite liquid ; it may be mixed with 
water, but milk is much better ; in fact, it should 
always be borne in mind, the food cannot be too 
good or too clean. It is also essentially necessary 
that sound discretion be used in the quantity of 
food given ; no more should be given than is eateil 
up clean at a time, and at every meal it should 
be fresh mixed food ; when the time arrives for the 
mid-day feed, if there remain any uneaten from the 
morning in the trough, it is a proof either that too 
much was given before or that the fowls are sick : if 
the first, let them fast till the evening ; if the second, 
alter the character of the food,, by mixing it. either 

G 3 

84 FOWLS. 

slaicker or stiffer ; but in both cases the food which 
has been left must be taken away, or it will torn 
sour, and the fowls will take a distaste for it, which 
will prevent their fatting; there should be pans 
continually before the fowls containing fresh clean 
water, and when the troughs are removed for scalding, 
and while they are drying, there should be gravel 
spread on the ledge before them ; they will pick out 
the small stones to assist digestion, which greatly 
promotes their health. 

Another very excellent thing is to cut a turf, well 
covered with grass, and place occasionally before 
them. No better proof will be required of this being 
good for them than the avidity with which it vnll be 
eaten. All these things assist health, 4ind for a fowl 
to be good on the table it must be healthy when 
alive. By this process a fowl put up in good flesh 
and condition will be fat enough for ordinary pur- 
poses in about ten or fourteen days. 

It will be observed, I inculcate the greatest clean- 
liness throughout. I believe cleanliness to be one 
essential : another is, that the fowls be fed early in 
the morning, as soon as the sun rises, for they vnll 
be then waiting for their food. If the first meal of a 
fowl is deferred till seven or eight o'clock on a sum- 
mer's day the bird has been hungiy, restless, and 
dissatisfied four hours, and in that time the progress 

FOWLS. 85 

made towards fatting the previous day has been 
fretted away. 

This remark applies both to pecking and the 
succeeding method of fatting. 

Next, as to cramming fowls. The coop is pre- 
cisely shnilar to that used for the peckers ; and here 
I would remark^ I am not an advocate for large 
coops. I would have several, each capable of con- 
taining twelve £dwls, which will be about three feet 
long by twenty inches deep ; and as the coops are 
liable to become tainted, if in constant use, I recom- 
mend that when not wanted they shall be taken from 
the outhouse or shed, and exposed to the air ; and 
if they be lime-whited so much the better, but on no 
l^scount would I be so short of coops as to be com- 
piled constantly to use the same, as disease, and 
that of the most infectious character, would be the 

The fowls for cramming sxe put in this coop, and 
if wanted veiy &t in a short time, the best of those 
fed by the former process may be selected, and in a 
week they will be very good ; but if not in a hurry 
then good fleshy young fowls should be put up and 
fed as follows ; but (in this and the former method) 
care must be taken to put up fowls that have been 
accustomed to be together ; if strange fowls are put 
in the same coop they will fight, and, if so, they will 

86 FOWLS. 

not fat ; nor is that all, from the continual excitement 
they will become hard. It will sometimes happen. 
even a pullet is quarrelsome, if so, she must be taken, 
from the coop and kept separate, or slie -will inter- 
fere with the ^well-doing of the lot. There' are how- 
ever, times wlien twelve fowls are not wanted at the 
same time. "Whether they are pecking or being 
crammed, two or four fowls must not have as mucli 
space as a dozen. With them as with ourselves, 
much exercise is not conducive to speedy fatting- 
It is easy to divide the coop described at page 83 hy 
having boards ready cut, and passing thena through. 
the bars from front to back. If fowls are to thrive, 
they must be warm. The heat and steam of the 
birds should be perceptible to the hajid when it is 
put in. For this purpose they must be close to 
each other, and the coop should be covered up with 
old sacks, carpet, matting, or anything of the sort. 

Tbe food is the same as before, viz., oatmeal 
mixed with milk, and if it is wished to make the 
fowls very fat, a little mutton suet may be boiled 
in the milk with which the oatmeal is slakied • the 
only difference being it is mixed stiffer, it must now 
retain the form given to it. A cram should be 
about the size of a woman's finger and an inch and a 
half long, six or eight are given morning and eveninff 
that is enough to fill the fowl's crop. 

The crams should be roUed up as dry as possible, 
and in order to render the swaUowing easy, previous 
to being given, they should be dipped in milk or 
pot-liquor ; women perform this operation better than 
men ; the fowl is placed in the woman's lap, the 
head is held up, and the beak being kept open with 
the thumb and finger, the cram is introduced into 
the guUet, the beak is then closed, and the cram, is 
gently assisted down tiU it reaches the crop : care 
must be taken not to pinch the throat, as ulceration 
would foUow, and the fowl would be spoiled. If at 
mid-day the fowls appear resUess and dissatisfied 
a very httle food may be given to them in the same 
way as to peckers. They must also be well supplied 
with water and gravel. 

It will sometimes happen that when the time 

amves for the evening meal, that of the morning has 

not digested; therefore, before the second feed is 

given, the crop should be lightly felt to see if it be 

^^pty ; if it is not, there is proof something is wrong ; 

the fowl must be taken out immediately, and the 

beak being held open, as if for cramming, some 

warm water or gruel should be poured down the 

throat, and the beak closed: the bird will swallow it, 

and it will soften the food, but if more food were 

forced into the crop, ozx tlnat already hardening there. 

the fowl would became crop-bound; i.e., the food 

would become soUd .^xxd indigestible, and the fowl 

88 FOWLS. 

would be totjolly spoiled for the table, if it did not 

By the foregoing process a fowl may be made 
perfectly fat and good in fourteen to sixteen days ; 
there is no necessity to feed longer, unless large 
size be desired, when feeding may be ooatiBued tkree 
weeks ; I prefer the former period, because tiM fowl 
l>hen is fat ^lough and in perfect health, but fp^ 
quently afterwards, although it will get fatter and 
apparently larger, it will lose both weight and flesh ; 
the latter becomes red and dry, the internal £eit 
impedes the exercise of the functions of digestion, 
and the fowl becomes diseased ; it is what poulterers 
term ** clung," and arises from disease of the Htot, 
caused by excessive fat. 

There is no possible method by which a fowl may 
be kept fifttting and in perfect health afber it has 
reached the acm^i of fatness, it must then be killed, 
or it will'become worthless. 

When put up, either for pecking or cramnuBg, 
the bird& mvsst be in some sort of building, com- 
pletely sheltered from cold and draughts ; when tlie 
weather is chilly, they should be coveved with sacks 
or matting, as warmth is very essential in causing 
them to thrive. 

I believe attention to these trifling ctetails wffl 
remedy one of the complaints urged against countiy 
poultry,, viz., that it is too lean. 

FOWLS, 89 


I WILL now endeavour to remove another objection, 
that it is hard. 

I see little difficulty here, as it may be prevented 
by attention to simple arrangements. 

I consider there are two causes, first, the poultry 
is too old ; next, it is eaten too fresh. 

Fowls should be put up to fat at ficom twelve to 
fourteen weeks old in the summer, and from sixteen 
to twenty in the winter ; the difference is caused by 
the £EUst that in warm weather they arrive at maturity 
much sooner than in cold; and when a fowl is 
arrived at maturity, it is too old for the table. 

It is a mistake to keep a fowl until it is too old, 
for the sake of having it large. It is true it looks 
handsome on the table, but it is usdess there. 
Perhaps paort of the breast may be eaten, but the 
1^8 are fax too hard to furnish any part of a meal. 
Still size is much to be> desired, and it can be 
attained by following the rule laid down for feeding 
chickens well from the first, and the increase in 
size and weight during the fortnight^s fatting is 
almost incredible to those who have never observed it. 

But to be tender the fowl must be young. There 
is no process by which an old one can be made 

90 FOWLS. 

good for the table ; and sarely, though it may be a 
shade less, it is better to have a good juicy fowl, 
which all will eat with relish, than a larger one, 
which from its hardness, cannot be enjoyed. 

Another complaint often made is, that although a 
good fowl is to be had sometimes, there is no cer- 
tainty. The poultry is one day good, the next day 
bad: this arises from the fact, that the fowls are 
improperly selected; that if six fowls are wanted 
they will, perhaps, be taken promiscuously from six 
different broods. This is yery wrong: tiie oldest 
brood should be cleared off before the next is begun. 
It may be said there is only a difference of three 
weeks or a month between them ; but in the summer 
and autumn a month turns the pullet into a hen, 
and, consequently, unfits her for the table. 

The next cause for their being hard is they are 
eaten too fresh. I use the term fresh in a qualified 
sense. A really young fowl does not require keeping 
to become tender, because it is naturally so, but if 
eaten the day it is kiUed it must be stringy in the 
moutb, as every member of the body is still rigid ; 
forty-eight hours will be quite long enough to keep 
such a fowl. 

But, spite of all care, there will sometimes be 
fowls beyond the age I have specified as the proper 
time for killing ; and then, by keeping them some 



days, they will become more tender. To this many 
persons and practical ones, will say, I have tried to 
keep them and cannot ; I answer, you do not adopt 
the necessary precautions. 

If a fowl be caught up out of a farm yard, or taken 
out of a coop, full of food, and killed directly, as is too 
much the custom, the food in the body and crop fer- 
ments, and at last corrupts the flesh ; but if the bird* 
be fasted, L e,, kept entirely without food or water 
from twelve to fifteen hours before it is killed, it will 
be found quite empty, and in moderate weather will 
keep from four to six days, during which period it 
becomes tender. In the winter it may be kept much 




Thebe is neither so much profit, nor so much 
honour in gaining prizes with bought birds, as with 
those that have been bred at home. As a rule, 
those who are in a position to give the largest sums, 
are not those who pay the most attention to their 
birds, and it goes far to equalize probabilities to find 
that it is almost impossible one person should pos- 
sess all the advantages requisite to success. The 


prodace of the best birds in the world, if only mode- 
rately attended to, will not be better than those of 
merely good ones favoured by every advantage. 

If it is wished to show at early shows, say in 
June, July, and- August, the chickens should be 
hatched early in January, and this process is the 
more advisable because of late years, January and 
Februazy are more fttvourable for rearing chickens 
than Majch, one thing alone excepted, that the 
nights are longer. About tiiie middle of December, 
two or three hens should each be set in a warm 
sheltered i^pot, and each should have sev^n eggs 
from selected birds, above ail such as have no 
capital defect or lack of any virtue. Grant that five 
chickens are hatched under each, it is enough and 
as many as she can rear. It will take at least 
fifteen chickens hatched to produce six at a show in 
June. It is easy to give any quantity of food, and 
to supply any amount of heat, but it must always be 
imposfiibk to giv« suffici^t nourishment in eight 
hours,, to last for, and to carry chickens over the- 
twenty-four. It will therefore be necessary to feed 
them twice after dark, and this is done for those 
that are intended only for the London mairket, and 
never hope for any distinction beyond that of being 
a spring diickan, and eaten with asparagus. Say 
that th^ last daylight meal is at four o'clock, then at 

FOWLS. 93 

eight give another hy candle-light The rip will be 
in a shed or out-house covered careful^ -so as to 
exclude any cold air. Place a dark board on wMoh 
the food, curd, egg, or bread and milk will be easily 
seen in front, and then raising a comer of the 
covering immediately before the board, throw down 
the light of the candle on it, and call the chickens. 
They will feed and return to the hen. Let the hen 
feed at the same time, as she learns to look for it, 
and she calls the chickens. Repeat the meal at 
eleven, and again at seven, and the night is reduced 
to eight hours fasting which the chickens can bear 
without injury. As they grow, if either of them 
shows any great defect, fat it for spit or market, and 
reserve all your care for those that promise to make 
a good return. Of course this is only needed for 
those that are hatched early, the later ones do not 
require it, they have nature on their side, and she 
is a good nurse. These very early chid^ens are not 
wanted for late shows; the produce of April and 
May will always beat them. Where muiy fowls are 
bred from a good stock, and kept in a farm yard 
affording all necessaiy food, we should be content to 
leave all together, even though we intended exhibi- 
tion. Weight is never the principal points in fowls. 
It is more important in December and the later 
winter shows, than it is between August and Novem- 

94 FOWLS. 

ber. At this last period that which is looked for in 
a prize-taker is a large frame. The food has been 
expended in height, length, and breadth, and while 
this is the case there will be no weight and fat. 
That which stops the growth and induces fattening 
lessens the probability of success. We think well 
of those prize fowls about which, in September, 
hjper-critical observers shake their heads and say 
they are leggy. Give such the two months that 
will elapse before Bingley Hall calls for them, and 
they will be mentioned; but the heavy, squab, round- 
beaded, fat pullets, the young hens in September, 
will never *grow any larger. Being then sure the 
chickens, although having only a farm yard run, 
have all they require in the way of food, we would 
let all. run together, but we should always keep our 
eyes on those we meant for exhibition. Where all 
chickens cannot have the same advantages, then 
those that give most promise must have the prefer- 
ence. But if six or eight chickens are wanted, at 
least eighteen should be selected. They want only 
a good roosting place, plenty of good food, not given 
all at once, but very frequently, and a good run. 
All fowls should be together for some days before 
they go to a show, and being on the same walk is* 
not enough, they should be daily confined in a 
small space. If this precaution is not taken, sue- 

FOWLS. 95 

cess is constantlj marred by the pen being deficient 
of one hen, torn to pieces, or at least eaten so far as 
the scalp and back of the neck are concerned. 
This is more frequently the work of the hen, than 
of the cock, and when they are put together if one 
begins to beat the other, and is allowed to do so 
without resistance, it is useless to dream of their 
agreeing, and madness to think of showing them 
together. As a hen or pullet is frequently spoiled 
£»r exhibition in a few minutes, it mav be worth 
while to describe the first appearances of an intended 
aggression. The pugnacious hen will begin by 
raising herself on tip-toe, till she can look down on 
her antagonist, then dropping her wings, and raising 
her hackle, she will strike the first blow. If this is 
submitted to, there is no hope for the beaten. She 
should be removed ; they will never agree, and she 
will be eaten. It may be asked why these things 
do not occur in yards ; the reason is simple, because 
the spaoe allows room for the victim to escape, but 
it is one of the inexplicable things of poultry that in 
presence of a pugnacious mate, a hen or pullet tries 
no resistance, she endeavours to find an outlet for 
flight ; failing that, she chooses a comer into which 
she thrusts her head, and thus "accepting the 
situation" she stands still while she is eaten. But 
without fighting they sometimes disagree, and then 

96 FOWLS. 

they show to disadvantage, because the weakest bird 
is always out of sight. It will prevent the proba- 
bility of fighting and considerably augment the pos- 
sibility of success, if both pullets are of the same 
^e. The older beats the younger, and this dispa- 
rity has a bad effect, it does away with the perfection 
of a pen, and altho' owners may sometimes fancy 
that one of the three birds composing it may be 
good enough to "pull it through anything," yet 
judges have to do with « the pen," and not with any 
particular bird composing it. This will perhaps be 
the place where I should mention a common fault in 
exhibitors who send two pens composed of three ex- 
cellent and three inferior birds, so divided as to form 
perhaps one third class and one highly commended, 
or two highly commended pens : whereas a different 
selection would make one of unusual merit. If «xi 
amateur who wishes to exhibit, has fifteen fowls to 
choose from, and to form a pen of a cock and two 
hens, he should study and scan them closely while 
feeding at his feet in the morning. He should then 
have a place similar to an exhibition pen, wherein 
he can place the selected birds ; they should be 
raised to the height at which he can best see them, 
and before he lias looked long at Ihem, defects will 
become apparent one after the other, till in all pro- 
bability neither of the subjects of his first selection 

FOWLS. 97 

will go to the show. We also advise him rather to 
look for defects than to' dwell on heauties, the latter 
are always prominent enough. The pen of which 
we speak, should he a moveahle one, for convenience 
sake, and it is well to leave the £qw1s in it for a 
time that they may become accustomed to each 
other, and also to an exhibition pen. 

In all birds, save those in which white plumage 
is desirable, we advise that fowls should run at 
liberty till they are wanted to send away, Dorking, 
Cochins, Brahma Pootras, and all golden birds. 
Spanish are improved by confinement (in a dark 
place, for some days before showing), giving just 
enough of light to enable them to pick their food, 
and to perch. They should also be littered with 
straw, as cleanliness has much to do with the 
success of these birds. Game fowls should be kept 
up for a few days, and fed on bread, meal, barley, 
and peas. These latter make the plumage hard, 
but they must be used sparingly as they have a 
tendency to fiEitten. White feathered birds, such as 
Silver Pencilled Hambro's, the top-knots of Silver 
Polands, the tails of Silver Spangled, all require 
washing. This is not difficult. Put a handful of 
Boda in a bowl of warm water. Immerse the fowl 
entirely, rinse thoroughly with cold water, wipe with 
a flannel, and place in a basket with soft straw 
before a fire to dry. h 

98 FOWLS. 

All fowls should have their legs washed clean, 
before they are sent to a show, scurf or dead skin 
should be removed from the comb, dry dirt from 
the beak, stains from the plumage. 

Baskets in which they are packed should always 
be round, high enough for the cocks to stand 
upright, and covered with canvas. If a single 
covering of canvas is not deemed enough, it may be 
double, and the space between filled with hay, 
no injury can then by any possibility or accident be 
done to the birds. But if the basket be square, 
feathers must be broken, and if the top be un> 
yielding wicker-work, whether it be top-knot or 
comb that comes in contact with it, it must suffer 
by being flattened. Fowls should be thoroughly 
fed before they leave for a show, but the food should 
be soft. Sopped or steeped bread are excellent. 
Hard food is to be avoided, because the digestion will 
have to take place without help, from exercise, gravel, 
or anything else. This is more important than 
may appear at first, when it is considered they 
will probably undergo the ordeal of judging within 
a few hours of their departure from home, and that 
indigestion is accompanied by sickly and ruffled 
plumage, dulness of colour, dark comb, and yellow 
face. In cold weather it is necessary they should 
have plenty of straw in their baskets, for warmth 

FOWLS. 99 

sake, and when fowls go frequentlj to shows, the 
straw should be renewed every time. Discretion 
must be used. In summer and early autumn, 
wheaten straw in small quantities, in late autumn 
and winter, when cold nights may be looked for, a 
Isyrger proportion of oat or barley. Fowls are not 
chilly, but they dislike draughts, and even in the 
guard's-van, there are chinks and crannies, through 
which there is an active current. They are also 
left in open and exposed spots at stations, and then 
the wann straw plays a useful part. 

In fowls as in other things, *' Let well alone," 
is a good and useful motto. When they return 
from a show, looking in perfect health, do nothing ; 
but if combs be dark, or crops be hard, a table 
spoonful of castor oil is valuable medicine and 
proper treatment. Where it is convenient, it is 
useful to have a spare run where birds can be put 
down on their return firom shows, and subjected, if 
necessary, to an especial treatment ; I do not say 
this is necessary, especially in the present day. 
They seldom require any other treatment than 
purgatives to remove the accumulations of three or 
four days of unnatural appetite, undue feeding from 
mistaken kindness, and perhaps rubbish from the 
bottom of the cages. 

These are things so generally known, it would 

H 3 

100 FOWLS. 

seem ridiculous to mention them, yet we sball not 
be justified in leaving them out. We speak of one 
of them when we remind exhibitors, birds in a 
pen must match as to comb and colour of legs. That 
is not a prize-taking pen which difiEers in any par- 

We hope we shall not be thought to be setting a 
hard task before our Mends, when we describe what 
perfect birds should be. The result of the last few 
years has proved the possibility, almost the ease of 
accomplishing whatever may be required. Take 
Spanish cocks for instance. The worst bird in the 
single cock class at the Crystal Palace show in 
February, was better than the celebrated Champion 
of former days, if judged according to the require- 
ments of the present times. Hambro's all have 
white deaf-ears, formerly they were the exception. 
Silver Polands and Spangled Hambro's have faultiess 
tails. They were said to be impossible. These facts 
prove how possible it is to attain excellence, and 
they are worth chapters of letter-press. 





Black, or Black and Slate colour, ash, cob- 
white breast and tail, web speckled with brown 
light hackle and saddle, or black. Any colour 

but black and white. 
Such as these are invariahly the heaviest and 
largest birds. 

SiLVEB Grey. 

Entirely black breast Hackles of alternate 
and tail, white hackle black and white stripes, 

and saddle. No speck of 
white on the black, no 
buff, brown, or red on 
the white can be allowed. 

the latter predominating. 
Body of light grey, the 
shaft of each feather 
being white. Bobin 


Cocks and Hens alike. 

Bed Speckled Dorkings. 

Breast, black, red, or Hackle, dark deep 
either colour spotted brown, or brown striped 
with white. Tail black with gold ; body choco- 



G00E8. HENS. 

or blaek and white, late or light brown 
Hackle and saddle red spotted with white, 
or spotted. 

All Dorkings, of both sexes, should have deep 
square bodies, broad backs, very full breasts, and 
white legs. The symmetry of the body will be easily 
judged and ascertained, if being viewed as if divested 
of head, legs, and tail, it presents a square. 


Double combs, fuU of Double comb firmly 

points, ending in a stout 
pike turning upwards. 
This must be firmly 
fixed on the head. It 
must not protrude nor 
hang over, nor must it 
be hollow in the centre. 
Even if firm it must not 
incline to either side. 
White deaf-ear, size and 
shape of a fourpenny 
piece. If larger, it should 

seated on the head, and 
scrupulously straight, 
full of points, and like 
that of the cock, piked 
behind and turning up- 
wards. Deaf-ear, small, 
round, and perfectly 
white. Hackle quite 
clear from spots. Body 
pencilled all over from 
the end of the white 
hackle to the tip of the 




tail, and if perfection be 

sought, the plumage of 
the hen should bear 

taking feather by feather 

and scrutinizing. Each 

should have ten or more 

distinct markings, and 

tail coverts still more. 


not exceed a sixpence in 
dize. Ample tail, foun- 
dation colour black, but 
every feather should be 
laced on both sides with 
silver or gold. The 
black should predo- 
minate, and the silver or 
gold should be only an 
edging. White or red 
body, sometimes a little 
spotted at the hinder 
parts, and on the extre- 
mity of the wings. Blue 

These remarks apply alike to Golden and Silver, 
with this difference, that the groimd colour of one 
is red, the other white. In both, the breast should 
be protuberant, the body round, the legs blue, the 
tails ample, and the whole carriage of the bird 
pleasing and cheerful. 

Golden Spangled. 

Laige double comb, Bright red, spiked and 
full of points, but neither piked, moderate-sized 
overhanging the eye nor comb, firmly seated on 




the nostrils; the points 
clear and sharp, not 
smoothed over till the 
comb looks like a fungus. 
Full pike behind turning 
upwards. Dark rim 
round the eye. Round 
smallish deaf-ear, bril- 
liantly white. Well- 
spangled breast; barred 
and laced wing; full 
black tail ; blue legs ; 
cheerful carriage. The 
under part of plumage 
bright bufif. The hackle 
of the cock well clouded, 
and, if possible, the 
colour so distributed as 
to present no patches or 
circles of black. The 
saddle should also be 
well clouded. All the 
colours should be rich, 
especially on the wing, 
where a metallic black 


the centre of the head, 
without the slightest 
deviation to either side. 
Dark but not black 
hackle. Body spangled 
all over, wings laced and 
barred, under feathers 
deep buff. The colour 
of the body should be 
deep and rich, the spsui- 
gling, barring, and laci^ 
correct, sharply defined, 
and bright with metaUic 
lustre. The deaf-ear 
snowy white, small and 
round; legs taper and 
blue. It is very essen- 
tial the pike of the comb 
should incline upwards. 




should bar and lace on a 
deep red or maroon 

The cock of the Silver 
Spangled is not shaded 
or clouded like the 
Golden in the hackle and 
saddle, but he requires 
to have his tail quite 
white, with die exception 
of a black point at the 
extremity of each fea- 
ther. A most accurately 
spangled breast is also 

Black Hambbo's. 

These birds are subject to the same rules as the 
other breeds, simplified by the fact the 'plumage is 
of one colour only. The combs must be spiked, 
piked firm and straight as in the others, and the 
deaf-ear scrupulously white. 

The hen of the Silver 
variety requires all these 
points, and in addition 
a thoroughly clouded 
hackle, and a clear tail 
spotted at the end with 
black. Nothing is more 
important than the 
clouded hackle. 



Large comb, and per- 


L<^ge> softj smooth 




fecUy upright. It should 
also he jBven on its sur- 
face, having no indenta- 
tion popularly known as 
the thumh-mark in front. 
Spotless white fsuce from 
the comh to the throat. 
Long, deep, smooth 
white ear-lohe ; very full 
tail. Erect, haughty 
carriage, unmixed plum- 


red comh, hanging over, 
and concealing one side 
of the £etce. Face tho- 
roughly white. Very 
full hreast ; hody taper- 
ing to the tail which is 
very full, and carried 
erect. Long thin skinny 
face, strong long heaks, 
and long hlue legs ; long 
ear-lohe, perfectly white. 

age, long hlue legs. 

Both cocks and hens have in common rich 
metallic lustre on the plumage. They should also 
he rather leggy than otherwise. 

No hird pays hotter for care in preparing for 
exhibition than this does. No other hird presents 
such a contrast as the white face, red comb, and 
black feather. The white face is indispensable to 
success, and is perhaps the most important point in 
judging ; but it must be home in mind that not any 
excellence in this respect can palliate a drooping 
comb in the cock, or an upright one in a hen. 
Many birds have a much better face on one side 
t^an the other. . No amount of white on one side 
will counterbalance red on the other. 




White Crested Black. 
Cocks and Hens. 
Black lustrous plumage ; top-knots white as may 
be without trimming ; leaden blue legs ; prominent 
breasts; very fuU tails, and straight even backs. 
The cock and hens must haye gills, but the cock 
must have no comb nor even spikes in front. 

Silver Spangled. 


Ample top-knot, well 
filled with coloured fea- 
thers, and not lying flat 
on the head. Well 
spangled breast, wing 
laced and barred. Tail 
white, every feather 
being tipped with black. 
Hackle and saddle black 
and white, clouded. No 
comb, gills, or spikes. 


Full, firm top-knot 
made up of laced fea- 
thers, and growing up- 
ward and close. Mixed 
hackle. Body accurately 
spangled all over. Wing 
laced and barred. White 
tail tipped with black. 
No gills. FuU breast, 
and round body. Blue 


As above in all points, As above, except as 
Qave that the tail instead regards the tail and Hie 




of being tipped with 
black is of that colour 
throughout, and the tail 
corerts, black in the 
centre, but having rich 
orange shades on each 


top-knot ; the former 
being black, or nearly so, 
while the top-knot should 
be composed of black 
feathers edged with 


There is in most Polands a tendency to deformity, 
but especially in the Blacks. It is always a dis- 
qualification at a show. 



Upright comb, with 
oorroGt and numerous 
serrations ; ample hackle 
and saddle ; gradual 
slant from the head to 
the centre of the back, 
and rising thence to the 
tail. Very flu% thighs 
and hinder parts ; bright 
©yo» long deaf-ear and 
wattle. Very little tail, 
and made up of numerous 


Sharp intelligent head, 
combs small, scrupu- 
lously straight, full of 
well-defined serrations. 
Thighs and hinder parts 
entirely hidden in soft 
silky fluff; short legs, fea- 
thered to the toe ; short 
thick - looking necks ; 
head carried rather for- 
ward than upright. 
There should be a gra- 




dual rise of feathers from 
the middle of the back to 
the tip of the tail, which 
should end in a black 
round point. 


small curly feathers that 
seem to roll over the 
back, rather than to 
stand up as in other 
birds. Legs feathered 
to the toes ; wings tightly 
clipped up ; upright car- 
riage ; bright good eye. 

Lemon and Buff. 
Cocks and Pullets alike in colour. 

Grouse and Partridge. 
Black breasts ; hackle Plumage brown all 

and saddle black, shaded 
on red, or very rich gold ; 
tail black; legs yellow 
and weU feathered. 

over, with as Httle yellow 
tinge as can be, and the 
feathers marked or pen- 
cilled as in the Grouse, 
Feathered yellow legs. 

Cinnamons, see pages 33, 34. 



Points same as in others, but weU feathered yel- 
low legs indispensable, and vulture hocks not de- 





Bright red comb, 
wattle, and face ; strong 
stout beak, slightly 
curved; round hard body, 
tapering to the tail; 
short round hard thigh ; 
stout leg ; flat foot ; spur 
low, near to the foot. 
Scanty plumage, but 
very hard. The bird 
should handle whole, as 
if clothed with one fea- 
ther; the tail scanty, and 
carried rather drooping 
than otherwise. The 
head should be moderate 
in size, but fine in shape, 
sharp and snake-like ; 
very bright eye. The 
whole expression fear- 
less, but more dignified 
l^an saucy. 


Sharp intelligent head, 
strong slightly curved 
beak; taper leg; small 
comb, with numerous 
serrations, and quite 
upright ; prominent 

breast ; very hard feather. 
Body tapering to the tail, 
but round in hand. 
Straight breast ; gay and 
bold carriage ; flat foot ; 
and close tail. 



Black Breasted Reds. 

COCKS. hens. 

Deep, rich, red and Brown body, each 

maroon plumage ; black feather shaft being light ; 

breast, thighs, and tail, light breast and hackle. 


Very light straw hac- Nutmeg body ; silver 
kle and saddle ; black hackles ; and salmon 
tail, breast, and thigh; breast, 
copper saddle, and duck 
wing; with the Mallard 

There is also the Silver Duck-wing. All red, or 
copper or salmon, is a mistake in these birds. 


Red and White. Ginger and White. The cock 
most distinctly marked, as the saddle and wing 
should be heavily splashed with the darkest shade 
of the colour. The tail should be mixed, all the 
rest of the body should be white. The hens must 
have less white. Nearly the whole of the plumage 
should be covered with a rich deep cream colour, 
and it is especially desirable white should not pre- 
dominate in any part of the body. 

lid FOWLS. 

There is another Pile, formerly common in Wor- 
cestershire, coloured' like the preceding, with this 
difference, that black feathers are intermixed almost 
artistically with the other plumage. 

Bbown Reds, 
cooks. - hens. 

Black and red striped Very dark brown, 
hackle and saddle ; black with an indistinct under 
tail ; black breast, richly shade of gold just visible 
striped or shaded on here and there; gold 
every feather with bright striped hackle, 
brown; very deep red 
and maroon wing. 

Black and Whites merely require to be perfect in 
colour. There are other breeds and other shades, 
but it is not necessary to go into detail with them ; 
aU that is necessary is to have the cock well dubbed. 
All the birds in the pen to match scrupulously in 
the colour of their legs ; and to observe the same 
care in selecting hens that will be fitting mates for 
the cock. 


Golden and Silveb Sebbigh^. 

Well formed double Double comb of mode- 
Gombi full of points, rate size; plumage cor- 




rectly laeed throughout ; 
dear tail, having only 
the black tip ; blue legs ; 
round body ; full breast, 
proud carriage. 


quite firm, and straight 
upon the head, piked 
behind, and the pike 
turning upwards. No 
hackle or saddle feathers. 
Hen, tail, without the 
suspicion of a sickle fea- 
ther, deeir of any mixture 
of colour, save a black 
tip at the end of each 
feather. Breast very 
prominent, head carried 
back, and the wings 
drooping till they nearly 
touch the ground. Blue 
legs ; each feather accu- 
rately laced. 

Gahe Bantams. 

These must be coloured like Game Fowls. They 
must also resemble them in shape, carriage, and 
hardness of feather. The cock must not droop his 
wings. He must carry them up dose, and must 
have the bold carriage of the Game, instead of the 
strutting gait of the Bantam. The hen must ex- 
change the loose feather, round head, and quiet 




matron-like air of the Bantam hen, for the close 
feather, hard body, snake head, serrated single comb, 
and somewhat fierce look of the Game hen. 

In Black Bantams, all should have clear, small, 
white deaf-ears, small red double combs; and the 
cocks should have very long sickle feathers. In 
both Black and White, single and double combs are 
equally admissible, in both also the cocks must have 
streaming tails. The white deaf-ear is not so im- 
portant in the white as in the black. 



Strong beak ; pearl 
eye ; naked throat ; hard 
skinny flace ; roimd, 
hard, and scantily fea- 
thered body; firm flat- 
tened comb ; cross, point 
of breast and wing, red 
and naked. Large head, 
slightly erected neck, 
sloping body, and droop- 
ing tail ; clean legs. 


Same point as in the 
cock, except that the tail 
is carried more upright, 
but not as in other fowls, 
and is more scanty. 






Bodies delicately pen- 
cilled all over. Silver 
hackle ; deep body ; yel- 
low legs, well feathered ; 
pea or single comb. 


Pea or siagle comb; 
the former preferred. 
The breast black 
speckled with white ; 
thighs black ; hackle 
and saddle light; tail 
black, and spreading at 
the end like that of a 
black cock. Yellow legs, 
very well feathered, 
deep breast; very full 


Cocks and Hens alike, but the coek frequently 
less marked than the hen. Entirely white plum- 
age, save the tail and flight feathers, which are 
black, and the hackle, which is black striped. 
These should also have well feathered yellow legs, 
and either pea or single combs. The under feathers 
of these birds should be dark. 

116 ^^^^'• 




HackU.—'I^Q feathers growing from the neck, »» 
covering the shoulders, and part of the back. 

Saddte.^'Those growing from the end of the back, 
and falling over the side. 

2^^,^^.— The silky feathers on the thighs and hinder 
parts of the Cochin China Fowl. 

Duhbing.— Cutting off the comb and giUs of a cock. 

Tail coverts. — The feathers that grow on either side 
of the tail. These are longer than body feathers, 
and shorter than those of the tail. 

Flight, — The last five feathers of the wing. 

Vulture-hocked. — ^Feathers growing from the thigh, 
and projecting backwards below the knee. 

FOWLS. 117 


y the use of them many diseases in Chickens 
^® avoided, as although there is an ample supply 
^ water, they cannot get into it. 

The plan of this Fountain is so simple, it is 
^■"^ost impossible it can get out of order, and the 
workmanship throughout being of the best charac- 
ter, durability may be depended upon. To fiU it the 
screw A is removed, and the plug B put in ; when 
tlie screw is replaced tight, and the plug re- 
^oved ; the water then flows clear into the trough C, 
keeping it fuU nearly to the brim, so long as any 
remains in the reservoir ; the trough is sub-divided 
oy partitions D, to prevent the birds of any kind 
from getting into it. The Fountain should be 
emptied and i^fiJJed every day. 

113, Mount areet, Orosvenor Square. 


|lonp anb €mMm spills, for jfolols. 

It has long been desirable to possess a cure for that 
bane of the Poultrv-vard, the Roup, and after being sub^ 
mitted to ever jr and tne most severe tests, these Pills have 
accomplished it. The first symptom of the disease is a 
laboured breathing on the part of the fowl ; the skin below 
the lower bill is in^ated and emptied at every respiration. 
In this stage of the disorder one pill given every night 
makes a care in a few days. In extreme cases, where 
the nostrils are stopped, the head swollen, and the bird 
offensive, it is well to wash the head, face, and eyes with 
vinegar and water every morning, and administer one 
pill every night If the case prove very obstinate, two 
pills may be given every third night instead of one, but 
this is seldom necessary. 

Where fowls are drooping, without an^ visible malady, 
one pill every ni^ht for two or three nights will remove 
every unfiivouiable symptom. In all cases a dose of one 
table spoonful of Castor-oil should be given six hours 
before the first pill. 

Fowls returning from Exhibitions should always be 
treated with the oil, and then with pills, for two or three 
days, and in all cases fed ^tirely on oatmeal slaked with 
warm water. 



Price 88. per Box, or by Post St. 4(L 





Fourteen Quarts 17*. 6d. Seven Onarta Ufa. 

Throe Qurta 13t.6d. 


A very plain, practical, and concise work 

on the above, 


Price Is. By Post Is. Id.